The Han dynasty was the second imperial
dynasty of China (206 BC–220 AD).
Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is
considered a golden age in Chinese history, as to
this day, China's majority ethnic group refers to
itself as the "Han people" and the Chinese script
is referred to as "Han characters".
The large dog stands four-square, ears pricked
up, head raised as if looking up to its master,
barking. This figure was made from a two part
mould and hand finished, with particular attention
paid to rendering the eyes, ears and mouth.
It has a wonderful abstract quality, much typical
of Han period art in reducing figures to their mere
Chinese believed that the afterlife was very
similar and a continuation of this world.
Therefore, they wanted to be accompanied even
in the underworld by objects that would maintain
their social status and the life-style to which they
Animals were extremely popular and such
figurines show the importance of raising and
keeping pets in ancient China.