Yu Yuan 豫园
Female and Male Lions

These two lions were cast of iron in the Yuan Dynasty (元朝, 1271-1368). It was not common to use iron in this way; usually stone, wood, or bronze was used. The two stand guard over a corridor that leads toward the Ten Thousand Flowers Hall. They are well traveled. They were found in Chengde County, Henan Province in the Ming Dynasty, moved to Shanghai for 400 years and during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai (October 27, 1937 to September 9, 1945), the Japanese gave the lions a trip to Tokyo. They returned to Shanghai at the end of the Anti-Japanese War in 1945.

The female is always on the left with a cub and the male on the right with a ball. These two lions are angled toward one another from either side of the doorway. The angle of the pictures makes them look less friendly than they really are.

China Index >> History of Shanghai and Suzhou Region >> Yu Yuan

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Last update: February 2007
© Marilyn Shea 1996, 1999, 2002, 2007