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Molosser Moment #20

Henry Jennings saves a Molosser treasure
Henry Constantine Jennings really had an eye for a dog: Sometime in the 1750s, the British collector spied this stone sculpture in a pile of rubble in an Italian antiquities shop, and brought it back to England. The 2nd Century Roman sculpture is believed to be a copy of an earlier Greek bronze, and it has come to be called the Jennings Dog, as well as the Dog of Alcibiades – a reference to a Athenian statesman who docked his dog’s tail to shift public scrutiny from his misdeeds. But more than its provenance, it is the morphology of this ancient dog that has fascinated Molosser lovers for centuries, from its broad muzzle to its cropped ears. 
Moment #20 Jennings dog
Got Molosser? This stunning statue of a cropped dog dates back to ancient Rome. Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011)
Alas, Jennings was forced to sell the dog to settle gambling debts in 1778. “A fine dog it was, and a lucky dog was I to purchase it,” he sighed. For the next 150 years, the dog stood sentinel at a Yorkshire mansion; in 1925, the estate was rented to a school for girls, who reportedly fed it their unwanted Marmite sandwiches. In 2001, the Houston Museum tried to purchase the statue for just under $1 million, but in a surge of nationalism the export license was delayed to allow the British Museum to raise the necessary funds. Molosser fans can find the 3½-foot-tall statue permanently on display in the London Museum’s Gallery 22.
Moment #20 Jennings Dog Back                    
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