Sculpture of a kneeling anthropomorphic figure with tiger head

Accession No. R001757
Period Shang Dynasty
Material Stone
Findspot Royal Tomb No. 1001 Hsi-pei-kang, Yin-xu Site
Geographic Location Hou-Chia-Chuang village, Anyang, Honan province, China
Dimension H.37.1 cm; L.21.4 cm; W.26.8 cm


This artifact is a sculpture of a kneeling anthropomorphic figure with a tiger head. The head, with two standing ears, is tilted slightly upwards and the mouth is agape revealing its canines and saw-like teeth. The figure crouches with claw-like hands placed on its knees. A long vertical groove runs through the back of the tiger with an inclination of 93° from the top of the piece to the bottom. It is suspected that the groove was a joggle joint that slotted into a wooden pillar. The whole piece may have been designed for use as an architectural ornamentation; unfortunately, the artifact was recovered from a disturbed context, redeposited after fossicking activities, and the original purpose of it cannot be confirmed.