Such ceramic dog statuettes would be employed as tomb guardians to protect their master’s grave. All Han Dynasty pottery dogs were created using two-part moulds. Once the main shape was attained, details such as eyebrows or whiskers were then added. More dogs appear in the later Han period, frequently in tombs. Likely this is because during this period the landed gentry lived on large estates and needed dogs to keep guard of their property. This guardian dog most likely belonged to an elite individual worthy of the devout protection this statuette exhibits.
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