A pair of figures of shishi, Japanese, late 17th Century.

The figures, which are 15.2cm in height and 12.3 cm in length, are decorated in Kakiemon colours, omitting yellow. Each is seated on a studded elliptical drum-shaped base, the underside of which is impressed with cloth marks. Shishi, or karashishi, are smaller versions of the guardian lions of Buddhist temples, and it seems possible that these two may have been the “two lyons” juxtaposed to the “two blue and white birds” located amongst “China over ye Chimney” in “My Lords Dressing Roome” in the 1688 Burghley Inventory. Such a grouping was discovered in a display case many years later.

 

REFERENCE: CER0306

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