The soapstone is carved in the form of a recumbent lion with its head turned to the left, front paws outstretched and hind legs tucked under its body. The majestic head has a finely incised mane framing the bulbous eyes and jaws partially open to reveal sharp fangs. The soapstone is slightly translucent with a warm honey yellow tone.
A tianhuang example of a recumbent mythical beast in similar style from the collection of the Taipei National Palace Museum is illustrated in Wenfang Juyin 文房聚英, 1993, p. 175, Catalogue No. 161.
Philip Cardeiro Collection