Asian Antiques by Silk Road

Burmese Temple Lion Chimera Figure

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1920: Item # 943598

Please refer to our stock # 57-44 when inquiring.
Silk Road Gallery
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PO Box 2175
Branford, Connecticut 06405, USA
(203) 208-0771

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This fantastic composite creature, a “tadiya yupa,” with features of a lion, goat, bird and serpent, once stood as a good omen in a Buddhist temple in Burma. Often referred to as brave lions, such friendly/fierce chimera figures are much loved in Burma, appearing in temple art and on personal items such as medicine and betel boxes. They are regarded both as protectors and as dispensers of good fortune. This one is particularly impressive because of its size and detailing. It is carved of Burmese teak wood that was coated heavily with red, then black lacquer. The mouth is especially realistic, set with individual teeth and a prominent curled tongue. The creature stands atop a box that is outfitted with a drawer, and the animal itself is a container—the head and top of the torso lift off. The inside is fitted with a shallow tray that tops another storage area. This early 20th century piece is in good condition. Dimensions: height 24” (61 cm), length 14” (35.6 cm), width 8” (20.3 cm). Height of the animal only is 18” (45.8 cm). The animal is not removable from the base.