“Kangxi” refers to the Kangxi Emperor (r. 1662-1722): a great patron of the arts, who encouraged the mastery of techniques hitherto foreign to China, and established new workshops in the Forbidden City. Production of porcelain at Jingdezhen, in the Jiangxi Province, was also increased. Jingdezhen kilns had made porcelain since the Han Dynasty period (206 BC – 220 AD), but reached the height of their technical excellence in the early Qing Dynasty.
Chinese Guardian Lions are often found in pairs: this particular pair of small, pottery figurines has a counterpart in the large stone sculptures which have stood outside Imperial palaces, tombs, and temples since the Han Dynasty. Indeed, even today, it is common to see a Guardian Lion protecting either side of a Chinese restaurant or hotel entrance.