The Hellenistic sculpture the 'Dog of Alcibiades' was modelled on a Molossian dog, ancestor of the modern mastiff. Henry Constantine Jennings of Shiplake acquired the only known Roman copy of the lost bronze original, dating from the 2nd century, during his stay in Rome between 1753 and 1756 when he rescued it from a pile of rubble in a Roman sculpture workshop for a total of £80. Jennings liked to call the sculpture the 'Dog of Alcibiades', after Alcibiades, an Athenian statesman. According to the Greek biographer and philosopher Plutarch, Alcibiades owned a large, handsome dog whose tail was "his principal ornament". Alcibiades cut off his tail and when told that "all Athens" felt pity for the dog, laughed and said "I wished the Athenians to talk about this, that they might not say something worse of me". Jennings's motive was probably much the same, for the Dog became so famous in England that the owner was called 'Dog-Jennings' and replicas were thought to make "a most noble appearance in a gentleman's hall" according to Dr Johnson. It was considered a sign of true gentlemanly taste to own a copy of this dog. Though the original and the present copies do not lack tails, it was Jennings's hope to associate the figure with the cachet of ancient Greek civilisation. By 1816, Jennings was in debt and forced to sell his dog stating "A fine dog it was, and a lucky dog was I to purchase it." Jennings's original now resides in the British Museum, London.