Tiger tallies, originated from the late Warring States period, were important tokens for the rulers to confer military power upon their regional ministers. The two halves of the tallies were normally held separately by the emperor and the marshals. A valid military command issued by the court had to be accompanied by the emperor’s half of the tally. The reunion of the two halves allows the local marshal to ensure the legitimacy of the command and mobilise the armies in the name of the emperor. The inscription on the present tally indicated that it would have been intended to confer a military command over the reign of Luoyang in the Henan province. Compare also a Han dynasty 'tiger' tally from the collection of David David-Weill, sold in our Paris rooms, 16th December 2015, lot 51. For further details on the origins of the tallies, uses and functions, see Lothar von Falkenhausen, ‘The E Jun Qi Metal Tallies’, Martin Kern, ed., Text and Ritual in Ancient China, Washington D.C., 2006, pp. 82-91.