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Antique Chinese Stone Carving
Lion Head

Architectural Fragment
Late Qing Dynasty, circa: 19th century
H.11 in.(27.5cm) X W.10 in.(25cm) X D.10 in.(25cm)
Condition: chip to mane, o.a. very good!

Stone Chinese lion head from the 19th Century, most likely removed from a torn down building or memorial arch to make way for the rapidly expanding Chinese economy. Figures such as these have appeared in traditional Chinese architecture for thousands of years, originating from a practice of Chinese peasants to stigmatize a particularly cruel ruler, and evolving into ornament and tradition. This lion head possibly was a corner piece, placed in a spot on the structure that was considered to be lucky, or in need of a guardian. In this sense, the piece is related to the Feng Shui practice of precisely positioned pillars and doorposts, placed in accordance to celestial bodies.

Stone Lion Head

Stone Lion Head
Private Collection

The carving of the piece itself is clearly the work of a skilled artesian, a man who has been carving stone all his life. Attached to the back of the lionís head are the remnants of chiseled stone, the creatures fierce eyes unperturbed by its dislocation. The lionís head is beautifully intact with the exception of a small piece of its mane having broken off. Its mottled stone finish indicates having once been painted, but all in all it has aged attractively. Truly a unique piece.

  
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