Seated bear, Western Han dynasty, 2nd–1st century BC. Black marble, height 18 cm. National Gallery of Prague, Vp 3109.

In the period of the Western Han there occurred a considerable boom in the use of figures in tombs, and there was also a marked progress in the depiction of human and animal forms. Figures of small bears were often used as caryatids on bronze vessels or as furniture finials. Freestanding statues of this type are, however, rare, and their iconography and function are unclear.