Tally in the shape of a tiger (Hu fu)


Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE)

Not on view

In ancient China, bronze tallies were used to verify orders for troop deployment. Usually cast in the shape of a tiger, they consist of two halves with complementary pins and notches on their backs. One half was held by the commanding officer, the other by the emperor. The officer would only accept orders accompanied by the interlocking other half.

Tally in the shape of a tiger (Hu fu), Gilt bronze, China

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.