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Support: Chimera




Eastern Han dynasty (25-220 C.E.)


Support: Chimera


Gilded bronze


4.8 x 2.2 x 2.4 cm


F. Cleveland Morgan Bequest, inv. 1962.Ed.34


Archeology and World Cultures

The bixie, a chimera with the head of a dragon, the body of a lion and the wings of a bird, became an auspicious symbol for peace and prosperity in China. Inspired by a prototype from Western Asia, it was transmitted to China through the steppes. Images of chimeras were sometimes placed in tombs as guardians to protect the deceased against evil spirits and to dissuade looters from desecrating the tomb. Our chimera may have served as a support for a valuable tray or vessel.

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