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Ca. 202 BC - AD 220

A Chinese pottery model of a seated dog in a forward-facing position. The animal is portrayed with an alert expression captured through the raised head and pricked-up ears. The dog is adorned with an elaborate harness and a collar, further accentuating the attention to detail in its creation. 


During the Han Dynasty, dog figures like this one held significant cultural and symbolic meaning. These pottery models were primarily created for funerary purposes, intended to serve as guardians and protectors in the afterlife. They were commonly placed in tombs as part of burial rites, accompanying the deceased on their journey to the next world. The inclusion of these guard dog figures in Han Dynasty funerary practices reflects the cultural beliefs and spiritual traditions of the time. This piece has been precisely dated having undergone Thermo Luminescence analysis by 

Ralf Kotalla. For similar see: The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Accession Number: 1999.2A-B. 


Provenance: East Anglian private collection; formerly acquired in the early 1990s in Hong Kong.


  • Dimensions 

    L: 520mm / W: 185mm ; 7.30kg

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