This is an antique Asian hand-carved wooden architectural element. It is a Foo Dog or Temple Guardian Lion. It looks more jovial than fierce, with it's mouth open in a wide grin. It is highly stylized and intricately carved with great attention to detail. Muted remnants of the old colors remain, but most of the polychrome finish has worn down to the wood. There are lots of little bumps, dings, chips and cracks as shown in the pictures, which only add to the character. Visible on the back are notches which were used for mounting. This is most likely one of a pair that would have been flanking an entryway. Now it is mounted on two thin pillars attached to a thick wooden plinth, giving the impression of flying through the air. Overall height is about 26", including the stand. Length is about 18", by about 6" deep.