A bronze and hardstone-inlaid 'Buddhist lion' paperweight
Ming dynasty The finely cast mythical beast with smiling expression framed by two ears and furry mane at the neck, running down its spine and ending in a flared tail, seated relaxed on its rear feet with its torso raised by its frontal paws, finely incised with flaming motif and inlaid with various semi-precious hardstones. 13.7cm long.
Compare a closely related parcel-gilt bronze Buddhist lion with inset hardstones, preserved in the Victoria & Albert Museum (Salting Bequest, M.741-1910), illustrated by Rose Kerr, Later Chinese Bronzes, London, 1990, p.88, pl.72. The illustrated example is close to the current lot with similar facial expression, furry swirling mane running down the spine and at the paws as well as elongated flattened tail, except the mythical beast is resting in a recumbent position with various assortments of inlaid hardstones. For an example sold at auction, see Christie's Hong Kong, 29 October 2001, lot 618.
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