Roof tile end with tiger


Western Han dynasty (206 BCE–9 CE)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 207

In ancient Chinese cosmology, the tiger symbolizes the western quadrant of the four cardinal directions. The animal was depicted on molded bricks, roof tiles, and walls of buildings to protect the living, as well as on architectural parts of tomb chambers to guard the deceased in the afterlife.

Roof tile end with tiger, Earthenware, China

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