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Western-style Stone Lions in China

 

In addition to traditional Chinese stone lions, it is not uncommon to see Western-influenced stone lions in Chinese cities. Some of these are completely Western in appearance; others are more stylised. In many cases it is conventional to represent the male with his mouth open and the female with her mouth closed. The following examples are from the streets of Haikou, Sanya, and Shenzhen.

This pair of completely Western-style lions (they wouldn't be out of place outside a London department store) nevertheless observes the convention that the one on our left has its mouth shut and the one on the right has its mouth open. Photographed in Shenzhen.

 

These two lions, photographed in Sanya, Hainan, follow the convention that the lion on our left has its mouth closed and the one on the right has its mouth open (with ball inside).

 

Two very similar lions in the same street, couchant.

 

Another pair, following the convention. Photographed in Sanya, Hainan.

 

This pair, in the streets of Haikou, does not observe the tradition of one-mouth-open, one-mouth-shut. However, they differ from Western lions in the fact that (1) they have a ball in their mouths (one of the characteristics of Chinese lions) and (2) the male is differentiated from the female. This is only apparent from the bottom pair of photos, where a close inspection reveals that the male has something that the female lacks.
Western-influenced stone lions in Haikou (female) - diagonal view
Western-influenced stone lion in Haikou (male) - diagonal view
Female
Male
Western-influenced stone lion in Haikou (female) - frontal view
Western-influenced stone lion in Haikou (male) - frontal view

 

Stone Lions in Hainan (1)
Haikou and Sanya
Stone Lions in Hainan (2)
Qionghai and Haikou
Some Slightly Different Stone Lions
Tibetan, Vietnamese, Ming
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