Tomb Guardian (Zhenmushou)

Period: Northern Wei (386–534)–Northern Qi (550–577) dynasty

Date: mid-to-late 6th century

Culture: China

Medium: Earthenware with pigment

Dimensions: H. 12 in. (30.5 cm); W. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm); D. 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm)

Classification: Tomb Pottery

Credit Line: Purchase, Ann Eden Woodward Foundation Gift, 1979

Accession Number: 1979.438


Bulging eyes, a gaping mouth with fangs, a protruding tongue, oversized paws, and a spiked back define this fantastic creature, which was once one of a pair placed facing outward at the entrance to the coffin chamber.