Antique Lacquered Wood Pair Fu Lion Furniture Bases, China (16735BSE) $595


H: 4.25″  W: 2″  D: 0.75″ | FREE SHIPPING!

During the Ming and Qing dynasties, small fu lion pairs were very popular accessories. As protectors of Buddhism, they are both menacing and friendly and this remarkably fanciful pair of crouching beasts joyously reflects both traits, with floppy ears, smiling open mouthed faces with tongues hanging out, and curled tails versus bushy eyebrows, bulging eyes and long pointed nails. As originally decorations on furniture with flat rear sides, they can stand alone as decorative accessories or even be a great pair of bookends. However they are used, they are guaranteed to bring a smile to those who are fortunate to see them on a regular basis.


Whimsical carvings of Fu-Lions were the most popular mythical animals in Chinese homes, especially during the Ming and Qing dynasties, as free standing statues, designs on furniture, architectural elements and functional pieces in private homes or gardens or on a home altar to bring fu and the blessings to the home.  This incredibly cute pair indeed looks more dog like than “lionesque” with floppy ears, smiling faces with mouths open and tongues hanging out, shining bulging eyes, long tails curled under their back legs, and long pointed nails extending from their paws. Posed as crouched rather than in the typical sejant lion pose, this pair is two males since in each antique-Chinese-wood-carving the front paw is on top of an orb and is more folk art than spiritual. As traditional, they have short bodies covered with rows of hair and a trifid (three-part) tail and are covered in auspicious colors: gold reflecting a lion’s golden sable color and red for good fortune. This pair were decorative elements on furniture such as a bed as seen by the rounded projections with holes on their backs for vertical rods and their flat and plain back sides in contrast to the ornate front. They were probably used to enhance feng shui and fu to the room’s inhabitants and were a wish for prosperity and fertility. Each is finely carved from one piece of wood and their bodies are covered in auspicious gold pigment symbolizing the lion’s golden sable color and red that summons good fortune with a lacquer coating. Since lions are guardians of Buddhism (Buddha’s name Shakyamuni means prince of the lion clan), they were often made to look fierce, but with a touch of whimsy and this artist tried to achieve both: a fierce stance by depicted with bulging eyes staring out below bushy brows and long curved nails to ward off potential evil and on the friendly side, crouched poses with floppy ears, smiling open mouthed faces with tongues hanging out, and curled tail. As Buddhist images they are a reminder that all sentient beings should live in peace and with compassion for each other.They are in very good condition with signs of wear consistent with age and use, one with faded pigmentation and gilt but still retains its artistic charm.  Endearing as fanciful, quirky and delightful additions to any environment pairs like this have become very difficult to locate. They are part of the  VA Collection of Buddhist-Art.


Ong Hean-Tatt, Chinese Animal Symbolisms, Selangor, Malaysia, Pelanduk Publications, 1997.

Elsie P. Mitchell, The Lion-Dog of Buddhist Asia, New York, Fugaisia, 1991.

Patricia Bjaaland Welch, Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Iconography, North Clarendon, Vermont, Tuttle Publishing, 2008.

Williams, C.A.S., Chinese Symbolism and Art Motifs, Edison, N.J., Castle Books, N.D.


Additional information

Weight 8 lbs
Dimensions 18 × 12 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


19th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 7.5” Width: 7” Depth: 3.5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 19.05cm Width: 17.78 Depth: 8.89


4lb 3oz


Very good, see description

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size