This carving was traditionally used as auspicious guardian at the entrance gate of wealthy households. They were believed to have the power of warding off evil and bringing prosperity. Carved out of wood with jewels of coloured mirror glass decoration and has significant age to it while remaining in wonderful condition.
Although the lion is not indigenous to China, it was introduced through Indian Buddhism and became a classic theme in Chinese art. From the Ming dynasty buddhistic lions, often called Dogs of Fô or Dogs or Buddha, appear in Chinese art and also used as "guards" of Buddhist temples. Buddhistic lions reached their zenith of popularity early on in the Kangxl period as the interest in Buddhism showed a marked increase in China. Concurrently, there were also a greater number of buddhistic inscriptions after 1644 in the hard times following the Manche victory, when “large numbers of disillusioned Chinese turned to the Buddhist Faith for solace”. The plentitude of these animated beasts at the time denotes their integral role in Chinese iconography. Symbolically the lions connote bravery and loyalty, these mythical creatures also appeared on military . badges of the first and second rank.