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Very Rare Pair of 18th Century Chinese Marble Temple Lion Guardians Foo Dogs

$11,554.44Asking Priceper set


We are delighted to offer for sale this stunning and very rare pair of white marble 18th century Imperial Temple Lion Guardians or Foo dogs A truly exquisite pair, the patina is absolutely glorious from all angles, they could be pressure washed back to the white marble however it has taken hundreds of years to develop this look and feel Chinese or Imperial guardian lions are a traditional Chinese architectural ornament. Typically made of stone, they are also known as stone lions or shishi. They are informally known in colloquial English as lion dogs or foo dogs. The concept, which originated and became popular in Chinese Buddhism, features a pair of highly stylized lions—often one male with a ball and one female with a cub—which were thought to protect the building from harmful spiritual influences and harmful people that might be a threat. Used in imperial Chinese palaces and tombs, the lions subsequently spread to other parts of Asia including Japan (see komainu), Korea, Tibet, Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Taiwan, and Singapore Statues of guardian lions have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. They are also used in other artistic contexts, for example on door-knockers, and in pottery. Pairs of guardian lion statues are still common decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance, in China and in other places around the world where the Chinese people have immigrated and settled, especially in local Chinatowns. The lions are usually depicted in pairs. When used as statuary the pair would consist of a male leaning his paw upon an embroidered ball (in imperial contexts, representing supremacy over the world) and a female restraining a playful cub that is on its back (representing nurture). Dimensions: Height 42cm Width 16.5cm Depth 24.5cm Please note all measurements are taken at the widest point This item is available for collection from our Wimbledon warehouses Condition: Please view the very detailed pictures as they form part of the description around condition Please note vintage period and original items such as leather seating will always have natural patina in the form of cracking creasing and wear, we recommend regular waxing to ensure no moisture is lost, also hand dyed leather is not recommended to sit in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time as it will dry out and fade.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 16.54 in. (42 cm)Width: 6.5 in. (16.5 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Qing (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    18th Century
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor structural damages. Minor fading.
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU2823316647312

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: London, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
4.6 / 5
Located in London, United Kingdom
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Established in 2012
1stDibs seller since 2017
571 sales on 1stDibs
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