Bronze Aanimal Figurine Stand

Bronze Aanimal Figurine Stand

National Treasure

National Treasure Intro

The Bronze Animal Figurine Stand, which is in the collection of the National Museum of History, was excavated in 1923 from the Prince Zheng tomb in Lijialou, Xinzheng County, Henan Province, China. This bronze object is from the Late Spring and Autumn period. It is 47 cm high, 34 cm long, and 30 cm wide. The scholar Xu Zhongshu believed that the object was used as a tomb guardian.

Compared to other Spring and Autumn bronzes, this unique figurine with a peculiar symbolic meaning is a very important bronze for studying the Spring and Autumn period. It is incredibly rare, with important historical and cultural value. It was designated as a national treasure in 2011.

National Treasure Appreciation

This object has an animal face and a human body with large eyes and scale and shell patterns on its forehead. It has a bare chest and exposed belly, and its feet are on a coiled snake.

Stretching out from its mouth, there is a long bar extending upwards; on its head there are another two long bars extending upwards. It is thought that these bars are the base for holding a plate or another similar object. However, the upper part has been lost.

Looking at the Animal Figurine Stand from behind, the patterns on the scapular muscles are apparent and vivid.

The sides of the Animal Figurine Stand show the object’s beautiful shape, with its long, curved horns, convex belly, curved hips, bent knees, and the snake’s sinuous body beneath its feet.

The object’s feet are firmly planted on a pair of figure-of-eight-shaped snakes. Both snakes are startled, glaring with open mouths with their scales raised. The image of the snake is highly realistic and evocative.


    1. National Museum of History and Henan Museum (editors), Bronzes from the Prince Zheng Tomb, Xinzheng. Taipei: National Museum of History, 2001.
    2. Yang Shih-chao, A Study of the Transformative Style of Spring and Autumn Period Chu Bronzes. Taipei: National Museum of History, 2005.
    3. Yang Shih-chao, A Study of Decorative Elements on the Fang Hu Vases in the Spring and Autumn Period. Taipei: National Museum of History, 2016.


National Museum of History (NMH) was founded in 1955. The first national museum in Taiwan since 1949. The Museum was originally named as the “National Museum of Artifacts and Art”, and then that was changed to current name in 1957.

Two sets of artifacts fromed the bases of the NMH collection, one is the Chinese artifacts plundered during the Sino-Japanese War, and another is the artifacts from the previous Henan Province Museum (today’s Henan Museum). Both sets were transferrd to the MNH by the Ministry of Education. Afterwards, the NHM’s collection accumulated year by year through purchases and enthusiastic donations from all walks of life. To date, there are more than 50,000 artifacts within 19 categories, such as painting, calligraphy, bronze, pottery, etc.

The museum’s collection is rich and diverse, representing various cultural phases,and all these precious materials can be viewed on the“National Museum of History’s Database.”

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By using the Taiwan glossary available on the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT-Taiwan),
objects can be better understood by linking them to similar objects in global collections.