China; Western Han Dynasty, 206 BC–AD 25

Gilt bronze

H. 7.6cm; W. 7.8cm; D. 5.5cm

This affectionate sculpture of a bear would likely have been part of a set of four, used as weights for the corners of mats used for seating. Bears were a favoured subject in the Western Han Dynasty, although this figure lacks the ferocity generally seen in contemporary depictions.

© The Al Thani Collection