VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Burial Object: Qilin (unicorn)
Pl 896
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This roughly carved wooden sculpture is an example of widespread funerary goods in China, although they have been preserved only in very dry areas.

History of the Object
The Qilin, one of the four mythical chimeras of China, is assigned the office of a grave guardian in funerary cults. During the Han Period, the find location Wuwei (Liangzhou) in the northwestern Province of Gansu was an important military and trade town in the economically important Hexi Corridor on the Silk Road. Many funerary goods made of wood and textiles have been preserved there because of the dry climate from the nearby desert region.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Wood with traces of black painting 
Measurements
 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China, Wuwei (Gansu) 
Geography
China 
Time period
BCE 3rd century ~ AD 3rd century 
Creation date
Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D) 
Function
Burial Object 
Acquisition
1992 acquisition 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
Georg Mayer 
Owner
Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art 
Museum
Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art 
Credit line
MAK 

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