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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALion CarvingOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
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

D170xW450xH1100mm

This item has been in the shop for as long as I can remember, being an architect I can see it as a concept for a skyscraper, a vertical city, etc.  But there is something more to it, it seems it really should belong to a fairy tale where these drawers open up to endless possibilities and magics.