Each pug is seated on a flower encrusted mound, the female, with a suckling pup.
Her fur is picked out in grey and she is wearing a puce collar tied at the back with a large bow decorated with gilt scrollwork and three applied gilt bells.
The male, with similar decoration, wears a plain gilt-edged puce collar.
The mark of crossed swords in underglaze blue appears on the edge of each base, 15.7cm.
The pugs were modelled by Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706-1775), the highly respected chief modeller at Meissen, where he was employed for more than forty years.
The 1763 Burghley Inventory records: ‘the Japan closet…two pug dogs…Dresden.’
The 1867 Burghley Inventory records: ‘Blue Drawing room…a pair of Dresden china pug dogs.’
The first European hard paste porcelain was manufactured in 1710 at Meissen, near Dresden and it continued to be referred to as Dresden for some years.