Couple of Pugs,
During the early eighteenth century the Mops or Pug became popular in Germany.
Meissen Porcelain figurines give us an example of the Pug during that period, showing his cropped ears and bells around their collars, making them even more charming.
Pug dog Meissen Porcelain
The managing director of Meissen Porcelain Factory, and Prime Minister of Poland, Count Brühl, himself had many Pugs, and those very dogs served as models for the figurines-now expensive collectors' items.
Meissen's best customer was Augustus III (1696–1763) , King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, the Grand Master of Freemasons in Saxony.
"Mom Pug and her Baby"
"Vintage Meissen Porcelain"
Detail of cute Baby Pug
Antoine Pesne (1683-1757), French court painter who executed a brilliant career in the Holy Roman Empire, but particularly in Prussia, in 1730 painted Countess Anna Karolina Orzelska, the illegitimate daughter of King August II of Poland (1670-1733) , holding her Pug in the Blue Palace Garden.
"Condesa Anna Karolina Orzelska",
Antoine Pesne, 1730
In 1736, the Pope Clement XII excommunicated the Masons in Germany, and they continued as the Mopsorden (The Order of the Pug).
The Mops (Pug) became their secret symbol.
Around the same time, the German sculptor, Johann Joachim Kändler, master model maker of the Meissen Porcelain Factory in Germany, was commissioned to create a curious series of sculptures. They were a group of porcelain Pug dogs designed as secret emblems for a German underground Masonic-styled lodge known as "The Order of the Pug ".
According to an exposure published in 1745 in Amsterdam, "L'ordre des Franc-Macons trahi et le Secret des Mopses rélélé", the Mopsordern was likely designed as a fraternal group for Roman Catholics who had been forbidden to join the Masons by Pope Clement XII 's 1738 bull. It is believed to have been started in Bavaria by the Archbishop Elector of Cologne, Clemens August of Wittelsbach (1700-1761).
According to the exposure, the members called themselves Mops. Initiates were required to wear a dog collar, and gained entrance to the lodge by scratching at the door. Initiates were hoodwinked and led around a symbol-filled carpet nine times while the assembled "Mops " of The Order barked loudly and yelled "Memento mori" ("Remember you shall die"). The blind candidate was required to kiss the Grand Pug 's backside under his tail as an expression of total devotion (in reality, a porcelain Pug Dog).
The Pug was chosen as a symbol of loyalty, trustworthiness and steadiness.
A Meissen figure of a Lady of the Mopsorden, 1745
A Meissen figure of
a freemason, 1745
All members had to be Roman-Catholics, and the Order of the Pug allowed women as members.
The Grand Master was a man, but each lodge required two lodge masters or Big Pug, one man and one woman, who shared the governing role.
But why the Pug? Apparently, the Pug became something of a subversive emblem of the "Enlightenment ", and England in particular.
Pug dogs came to England with King William III when he was brought from the Netherlands in 1688 by Parliament to replace his uncle and way-too-Catholic father-in-law, James II, who was booted out of Blighty.
This "Glorious Revolution " created a constitutional monarchy that was watched over carefully by Parliament.
with his Pug Trump
Europe's intellectuals began to admire this new style of English government and free thinking, and owning a Pug was a subtle way of showing solidarity with England's revolution without getting locked in the stocks or hurled into a dungeon.
The English artist Hogarth, (1697-1764) was a very prominent Freemason.
Denis Diderot, 1767
In Paris, Pugs became associated with Voltaire, (1694-1778) and Diderot, (1713-1784).
"The Order of the Pug " was outlawed in 1748.
Saxonian Pugs figurines
Meissen continues to produce some of the most handsome porcelain pug figurines - still with the long legs, relatively long muzzle and cropped ears typical of 18th and early 19th century Pugs.
Breeders in Germany tried cross-breeding the Pug and the Miniature Pinscher during this period in an attempt to shorten the muzzles of other canine types.
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