A pair of 19th century carved serpentine marble Models of the 'Jenkins dogs'
Discovered in around 1750 at Monte Cagnuolo in Italy, the original dog was thought to represent the famous mastiff hound owned by the Greek General Alcibiades and was carved in white marble. Dating from the 2nd century AD, it is thought to have been sculpted by the famous sculptor Myron.
Following the fashion of the day for collecting ancient marbles, the dog was subsequently acquired in 1753 by the obsessive collector Henry Constantine Jennings (1721-1807) and his celebrated acquisition later earned him the name 'Dog Jennings'. The sculpture and his very idiosyncratic personality thus secured Jennings's place not only in the history of collecting but also among notable English eccentrics.
Now in the permanent collection of British Museum, the piece was purchased with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Art Collections Fund (The Art Fund), the British Museum Friends and contributions from the public.