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I call this a "Temple Priest"

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Asian Statues830 of 986Bronze StatuesDoes anyone know what these are or were for ?
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    Posted 11 years ago

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    I know absolutely nothing about this item! It has been in my home for 40 + years. A friend of mine from Korea states that it is Vietnamese and it is what is called a "Foo Lion" with a Budda on it's back. She tells me it is very old. As you can see from the photos the colors are vibrant even though it has paint cracks in it. I do not know what the metal is, however it is very heavy (about 20 pounds) and a magnet will not stick to it. The measurements of the statue itself are: 9"L x 5"D x 17"H. The wooden base is very light weight, almost like holding air. There is no nails but seems to be a "tongue and groove" assembly. I notice no evidence of glue being used on it. Can anyone out there give any idea of what this actually is and it's history? Thanks.

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    1. yourgigi, 11 years ago
      Thank you Jim. I have tried researching this piece with no luck either. Have even sent pictures and info to Asian Museums with no help. I have not even found images that would lead me to answers about this item...seems to be "one of a kind" (my luck)! The Curator of Asian arts at Christi's in New York stated years ago that she had nothing in which to make a comparison to, so even she could not guide me. Maybe eventually someone will know what it is.
    2. toolate2 toolate2, 11 years ago
      Temple Lions are protectors. They keep the temple free of evil spirits and bad chi so that the space is pure the deities that reside there. In this case Shou. Why he's sitting on one I haven't a clue. Maybe for protection during travel???
    3. yourgigi, 11 years ago
      Thank you Jim. That is as close to mine as I have ever seen. I think I may drop them a line and see if they can give me any more info. Never know. Between your comments and those of toolate, I am beginning to wonder about this. I knew that the foos (or as you say shi shi) were for protection, however I did not know about the longevity and toolates comment about protection during travel? At one time I was told that there are many "shrines" erected to those that have passed about the country side in Vietnam and that this may have come from one of those that had been bombed out. Could be some truth to it all. Thanks to both of you for helping me out here.

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