Ming Dynasty Chinese Guardian Lions

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These beautiful early Ming Dynasty Chinese guardian lions are of exceptional quality and in good condition crafted out of red sandstone.

Chinese guardian lions, or Imperial guardian lion, and often called "Foo Dogs" in the West, have traditionally stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). They were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. Pairs of guardian lions 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.

According to feng shui, correct placement of the lions is important to ensure their beneficial effect. When looking out of a building through the entrance to be guarded, looking in the same Direction as the lions, the male is placed on the left and the female on the Right.

Symbolically, they are the children of the dragon and it is believed, that they eat money as food, but do not digest the money and return it to the owner.