The depiction of animals in cyclical calendars began in the Han dynasty, but the development of zodiac figures with human bodies and animal heads did not occur until the Tang dynasty. Numerous painted pottery figures of this subject have been excavated in Tang dynasty tombs, however, gilt-bronze versions are extremely rare. The present figure is of the same style, size, and material as four other gilt-bronze zodiac figures in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, which respectively represent the hare, ram, dog, and pig, and are published together in René-Yvon Lefebvre d'Argencé, ed., Chinese, Korean and Japanese Sculpture in the Avery Brundage Collection, Tokyo and New York, 1974, pl. 118. A sixth figure, possibly from the same group and bearing an ox head, from the Seligman Collection is published in S. Howard Hansford, The Seligman Collection of Oriental Art, vol. 1, London, 1957, pl. XLIII (A88).