The Chinese Lion (Dog)

Wei Dynasty
386-557 C.E., Marble

Chinese guard lions (Shishi) were believed to have powerful protective abilities. During the Han Dynasty, they were traditionally placed in front of palaces, government offices, temples, and homes of the wealthy. This lion, carved in black marble with veins of white quartz, has its front paw on a ball that is carved with the “Flower of Life,” a geometric pattern which symbolizes fundamental forms of space and time.