H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm); W. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); D. 5 3/4 in. (14.6 cm)
Partial and Promised Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen R. Beckwith, in honor of Suzanne G. Valenstein, 2002
Not on view
While lions are not native to China, some specimens apparently had reached there from the West by the Western Han (206 BC.–AD 9) period: there is evidence, for example, that lions were among the many exotic animals kept in the Han-dynasty imperial parks. In all probability, these two meticulously sculpted ceramic figurines functioned as bases for some kind of stand. Counterparts to these earthenware lions can be found in Tang-dynasty (618–907) stone sculpture.