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Lot 817. A pair of bronze tiger-shaped ornaments, circa 5th-3rd century BC. Estimate USD 4,000 - USD 6,000 © Christie's Images Ltd 2017.

Each is cast as a tiger with a partially devoured rabbit dangling from its jaws, and a rabbit head forms the tip of the tail. The eye, ear, fanged jaws and paws are delineated by openings and D-shaped openings in the body refer to the stripes of the hide. Each has two slender vertical straps for attachment on the reverse. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm.) wide

ProvenanceJ. J. Lally & Co., New York, 18 March 1996.
The Erwin Harris Collection, Miami, Florida.

ExhibitedNew York, J. J. Lally & Co., Early Dynastic China, 1996, no. 27.

NoteA similar but smaller (2 ¾ in. long) tiger plaque, lacking the addition of the rabbit, in the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, is illustrated by E. C. Bunker et al., “Animal Style” Art from East to West, The Asia Society, New York, 1970, p. 120, no. 94, where it is dated first half 5th century BC. See, also, the example, also lacking the rabbit, illustrated by A. Salmony, Sino-Siberian Art in the Collection of C. T. Loo, Paris, 1933, pl. XII (5).

Christie's. The Harris Collection: Important Early Chinese Art, 16 March 2017, New York, Rockefeller Center