Tiger visits United States for the first time
By Kathy Whyde Jesse
DAYTON DAILY NEWS
The recumbent stone tiger has never traveled to the United States , mostly because of it's size-it weighs 2 1/2 tons -but also because of its historical significance. It is from the tomb of Huo Qubing, an important military general of the Western Han dynasty.
At Huo's tomb site, three large stone horses are among the group of sculptures: a recumbent horse, a leaping horse and a horse trampling a figure. Other stone creatures found at the site include an elephant, an ox, a tiger, a boar, a toad , a frog, and two fish. There are also sculptures of a man hugging a bear and a fantastic monster with a small animal in itís mouth.
These images are distinguished from all other examples of funerary sculpture of this era in size and because they were made for the exterior of the tomb.
The tiger, like the other sculptures found at the same site, features a smooth surface with enough detail so that most of the figures can be recognized, but finer points of anatomical structure have been glossed over, as they are in the figures and animals from other Western Han Dynasty sites.
The limbs, ears and tail of the tiger are rendered in slightly higher relief than the body,
but the overall effect is a closed, compact work that appears to be little modified from the
ETERNAL CHINA--Splendors from the First Dynasties
Tiger, Pre Qin period, 4th-3rd century B.C. Silver. H: 2 3/4 in.
L: 4 3/4 in. Unearthed at Shenmu county, 1957.
Shaanxi Historical Museum.
Here are some "famous" tigers. Please e-mail me if you can think of others not pictured here.