Material and Medium: Ivory, wood
Dimensions: Overall: 300 x 65 x 55mm (11 13/16 x 2 9/16 x 2 3/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: 2007.226
In the Buddhist faith, the Four Heavenly Kings are four guardian gods, each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world. They have vowed to protect the Buddha, the Bodhisattvas (including Guanyin), and the Buddha's followers from danger. They are often carved on gateways, and as guardian images in temples. This figure shows the Guardian of the West (Mo Li Hai) on wooden base holding a lute.