Skip to contentSkip to navigation
Become a Member
Explore today's schedule
Visit MMFA for free by becoming a Member
Learn more
Back

Support: Chimera

Location

CHINA

Era

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

Title

Support: Chimera

Materials

Gilded bronze

Dimensions

4.8 x 2.2 x 2.4 cm

Credits

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

Collection

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.

A touch of culture to your inbox
Subscribe to the Museum newsletter

Bourgie Hall Newsletter sign up

This website uses cookies in order to optimize your browsing experience and for promotional purposes. To learn more, please see our policy on the protection of personal Iinformation