Each approx. H. 12 in. (30.5 cm); W. 4 in. (10.2 cm)
Gift of Charlotte C. Weber, 2000
Not on view
This set of animals represents the twelve-year cycle and the twelve hours of the day in the Chinese calendar. They have been associated with the calendrical cycle from the third century B.C. to the present day. As burial practices became more elaborate in the late Southern and Northern Dynasties (386–589), pottery figures of the zodiac animals wearing official robes became popular tomb offerings, presumably because they were viewed as symbols of renewal and regeneration.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Monkey Business: Celebrating the Year of the Monkey," January 8, 2016–July 24, 2016.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebrating the Year of the Rooster," January 25, 2017–July 4, 2017.