A gilt bronze model of an elephant
16th / 17th century, Sino-Tibetan
Length: 22cm, 8.5 inches
The caparisoned animal is modelled with its trunk lowered and curled slightly inwards, striding forward with a good humoured expression. The elephants back is covered by a large blanket decorated with shou characters (long life), and edged with a scrolling boarder, his forehead is bejewelled and around the neck is a chunky triple row chain collar.
The elephant is the embodiment of strength, wisdom and intelligence and together with the tiger, leopard and lion representative of energy and power.