Gilded ceramic for a luxury lucky charm

Text by: Charlotte Garlaschelli
Photos courtesy of Matteo Cibic

While China is sinking, tightening its belts and fortifying its choke points, the Belt and Road Initiative is going at full speed. Chinese New Year kicked off on February 16 under the sign of the Dog. The traditional explosion of festive parades in every chinatown of our planet was marked by the colour red (红色 – pronounce it as ”hóngsè”) as a wish of happiness and good luck, accompanied by a giant dog to symbolise loyalty and intelligence.
The Chinese zodiac is characterised by long, very long cycles, which vaguely remind us of the passage of the most distant planets in the Western horoscope.  They also have 12 signs, but you have to wait for 12 years before you return to your own sign. Therefore, people born in ’46/’47, ’58/’59, ‘70/’71, ’82/’83, ’94/’95 were born under the sign of the Dog: some famous names include Donald Trump, but also David Bowie, Judie Dench, Madonna, Kate Middleton e Steven Spielberg.
Astrologists are never too optimistic about the years of the dog: these years are usually considered to be controversial and challenging, but always filled with loyalty.
A useful porte-bonheur is Paradiso Dreams, the special edition prepared by Matteo Cibic, the highly creative designer from Vicenza, for Lane Crowford, the famous luxury brand founded in Hong Kong by two scotsmen in 1850. This dreamlike bestiary of ceramic characters was enriched by an exclusive Chinese Crested dog sculpture refined by 24k gold. These tiny and precious ceramic creatures carry within them the reminiscences of traditional 18th century Italian statues and pre-classical votive figures. Cibic’s work preserves these ancient symbols and references, while renewing their shape. Proving that design is always a game for Matteo Cibic.