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Meissen group of a Danish pug dog with her two puppies, modelled c.1745 by JJ Kaendler, offered by Brian Haughton at 'A Collectors’ Paradise', priced in the region of £55,000.

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It is among a number of pug models that Kaendler created and the models have sometimes been associated with the Freemasons.

In 1738 Pope Clement XII’s banned masonic associations under penalty of excommunication.

Two years later, Klemens August of Bavaria founded the Order of the Pug, a secret society of Freemasons, taking the animal as a model of reliability, trust and steadfastness.

Today, Haughton says, “pugs seem to excite a large part of the world,” meaning the work may attract some excitement thanks in part to the popularity of the breed.

This rare model measures 8in (20.5cm) high, is impressed 25 and is offered for a price in the region of £55,000.