Chinese Han Dynasty Foo Dog Marble Paperweight

£ 125.00

A finely carved Chinese marble paperweight in the shape of a lion dog, dating from the Han Dynasty period. The domed paperweight features a sectioned and flat depiction of the animal, whose torso is shown recumbent on wave-like element and sculpted through deep carvings in the stone. Its anatomical features, the large paws, face with wide open eyes, and large cat-like nose and cheeks are rendered in a very appealing manner, making this item a compelling expression of ancient Chinese craftsmanship.

Date: Circa 202 BC-220 AD
Period: Han Dynasty
Provenance: The C. Roger Moss OBE collection. The late C. Roger Moss OBE was a renowned art collector who, throughout the years, thanks to his determination and enthusiasm, was able to create an outstanding collection of artworks, most prominently from China and the Orient, but also from other cultures.
Condition: Very fine, the marble is in excellent condition.


SKU: CS-182 Category: Tags: ,

Imperial guardian lion statues, also named lion dogs or foo dogs, have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, residences of government officials and affluent individuals as they were believed to bestow powerful protective benefits. They were also extensively employed in other artistic contexts, for example on door-knockers, pottery, or on other utensils, such as the case of this paperweight.

The invention of paper has been attributed to the Han Dynasty, supposedly realised by a court official and presented to the emperor. Paper had major impact on the dissemination of Han literary and artistic culture. Zoomorphic paperweights made in clay, stone and bronze were abundantly produced in the Han Dynasty, as important study tools used by ancient Chinese scholars.

To discover more about the Roger Moss Collection, visit our Provenance Collection Page.

Weight 272.7 g
Dimensions W 6.5 x H 6 cm



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