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Two carved wooden shishi

Price:  1.900,00

A striking pair of finely carved wooden temple ornaments 木鼻 (kibana) in the shape of threatening shishi 獅子 (temple lions) painted in the colours green, red, black and white. These are rarely seen completely painted polychrome.

They were ornaments placed at the top of pillars or at the corners of beams in a temple so they could serve as guardians of the temple. The last photo is an example of how similar kibana originate.

One lion has its mouth open while the other’s is shut. As a part of Buddhist symbolism the open mouth is meant to be forming the sound “a” あ, while the closed mouth is forming the sound “un” うん. Combined, they form the word a-un. “a” and “un” are symbolic of all beginnings and endings.

The “un”-lion with an inscription on the back.

Approx. dimensions:
Shishi 1:
Height 34.5 cm, Width 26 cm, Depth 49 cm.
Shishi 2:
Height 36 cm, Width 25 cm, Depth 46.5 cm.

Period: Japan – Meiji period (1868-1912).

Both in a good original condition with expected traces of age and use. As they originally hung outside where they were subject to the weather. Please look at the photos for a condition reference.

We will add a certificate of origin when shipping.

Ref. No. : B4341

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