The chinthe is a highly stylized lion-like creature, often depicted in Burmese iconography and Myanmar architecture, especially as a pair of guardians flanking the entrances to Buddhist pagodas and kyaung, Buddhist monasteries. In Burmese, chinthe is synonymous with the Burmese word for lion. The story of why chinthes guard the entrances of pagodas and temples is given as such from the Mahavamsa: The princess Suppadevi of the Vanga kingdom, modern Bengal, had a son named Sinhabahu by her marriage to a lion, but later left the lion abandoned, who then became enraged and walked a path of terror through the lands. The son then went out to kill this fearsome lion. The son came home to his mother and said he had killed the lion, only to discover that he had killed his own father. The son later built a statue of the lion as a guardian of a temple to atone for his sin.
This one is approximately 35 cm wide. Probably 18th century.