Rare Tang Dynasty Guardian Sheep Temple Figure / Statue, China
Antiquity pottery sheep figure / guardian / spirit representing one of the 12 terrestrial branches (and the 10 celestial stems) that formed the origin of the Chinese Zodiac. It is thought that the order of the zodiac originated in the Han Dynasty (206 BC -220 AD) where there were 12 time periods of a day. For example, from 1PM to 3PM the sheep ate grass and they would grow stronger. This particular statue is from the Tang Dynasty (619 – 907 AD). It is an authentic temple figure. Other similar statues representing the 12 terrestrial branches are found in the National Museum of History (Taipei, Taiwan). This is truly a phenomenal piece that is museum quality. I acquired this piece from a trusted antique dealer in Stamford CT, USA back in 1999. It comes on a simple wood stand but deserves to be in a well-lighted museum case. This is a really cool statue. In good condition considering its age. For the Serious Collector.
Sorry, this item has been sold. Thanks L.B. !