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Unidentified wood carving ornamental utilitarian object

In Animals > Dogs > Show & Tell and Asian > Foo Dogs and Lions > Show & Tell.
Asian Antiques2037 of 4573Japanese Imari porcelain oval platterJapanese Vase.
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Posted 2 years ago


(6 items)

Here is a wood carving of what appears to be foo dogs, lions, monkeys or dragons? There are three heads- one in the middle and one on either end. Under the middle head there appear to be crossed horns (like horns of plenty) but are filled with something floral or leaves. The two heads on the end seem to be eating their tails. There are two metal (iron) attachments which dangle from each side that appear as though they would hold a strap of some sort. The piece does not have enough depth to serve as a saddle. It appears to have been made to sit atop something. Two pieces of wood extend down from the mid sections of the sides and two pieces of flattened wood attach to them. This is what I am thinking was made to sit upon something. The carving is rather elaborate, but the piece appears to have some utilitarian purpose as well as ornamental. It appears to be very old. The piece is 18 1/2" across and about 11" tall. (See photos for more.)
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  1. goho, 2 years ago
    Thanks Jim. Would you suggest another category, or leave it under Asian? Thanks! Donna
  2. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 2 years ago
    they look more like mideval lions, than foo dogs to me.
  3. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    I'm thinking harness accessory to be attached to the harness saddle (as apposed to a riding saddle). The rings in picture 3 could be rein terrets.
    All the parts portrayed have a basis in mythology, could be of northern Europe origin.
    The center head looks like that of a wolverine with it's slender head & short ears. Also known as a Gulon in Scandinavian mythology.
    The outer heads as you say "seem to be eating their tails", that would be a Ouroboros
  4. sarahoff sarahoff, 2 years ago
    It's definitely old, it has great worm eaten holes. The bottom brackets are interesting, they would have to attach to something with peak angles.
  5. sarahoff sarahoff, 2 years ago
    I think Jwendell might be right about it being an ornamental carriage mount.

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