Search results for: "lion xiu qiu"


DIA150xH20mm, China

To celebrate the victory of  Germany winning the World Cup, here a plate with the lion playing with a xiu qiu.

The composition of the lion playing with the ball is a traditional blessing pattern.  The lion being nonnative in China was a mystical creature, not only is it the symbol of power and strength, it is also the carrier of the Manjusri Bodhisattva.    Lions sculptures are often found outside buildings as the guard against evils.  Here is the legend of how this supreme creature start getting addicted playing with balls; during the Southern and Northern dynasty, there is a general named Zong Que who was in a losing battle.  Zong thought of a way to breaking out of the surrounding enemy, he had the soldier build a figure of the lion, put on a mask and dressed in yellow fur, from a distance the enemy thought the lion has arrived and flee, enabling Zong’s army to escape from the situation.  The army celebrated  with the local villages and the tradition went on, to humanize the lion more movements were added as well as the xiu qiu ball.  The pattern of the lion and the xiu qiu is a blessing of strength and energy.

Click here to see our other items of the lion and the xiu qiu.


iron lion

L170xW90xH170mm, China

Lions, perhaps not being a native animal in China, were considered as mythical creatures, protector and even made to be carriage of Bodhisattva Manjusri.

Chinese lions are often portrayed playing the xiu qiu, symbolizing harmony and joy.
However, does lion really enjoy playing balls like a cat …

L580xW140xH360mm, L620xW150xH340mm, China

A pair or lions; the lion playing with the xiu qiu is a male and the other with the cub is a lioness.

These pair of wood carving is part of an architectural element, in fact it is part of the bracket that hold up the beam in traditional Chinese architecture.  This highly decorative architectural / structural elements are found in the south, in larger building such as ancestral homes.

In the building the lions would have been view with their tails on the upper part and their heads at the bottom, as in the photo below.

beam carving

W50xL120xH50mm, China

Its really a surprise to find this tin toy, it is intriguing in a couple of sense.  First, thought China has been a major manufacturer or tin toy since the 1920s, the design of the toy has broadly based on the original western themes (robots, cars, ships, objects which for the Chinese would have been deemed western).  This toy, a lion, has departed from the normal tin toy design.  For those who has seen a lion (photo, on telly, zoo or safari) would have said that this look at best a silly green monster and nothing like a lion at all.  This however has all the features a Chinese lion would have.

Now for the second surprise; there are no lions in China (not naturally there).  The idea of lion come together with Buddhism as an animal of power, the lion is as mythical as the kirin.  Since there are no lions, the Chinese do not see it as a predictor but as a protector against evil.  They can be seen guarding the front doors, on the ridge of a building, lion dances for New Year.  So fond of it that the male lion will normally been given a xiu qiu to play with.


DIA330xH70mm, China

A lacquer tray of a lion playing with a xiu qiu (a fabric ball), a symbol of blessing from this mythical powerful creature.

The tray is constructed by 8 sections and a flat octagonal size board in the center, held with a wire.  The base of the 8 sections have fine carving painted in gold.

Click here to see our other lacquer trays.


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