Standing Taoist Female
Item No. 16117
18th - 19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
34" x 12" x 7"
( 86.36 x 30.48 x 17.78 cm)
(H x W x D)
This standing female figure probably represents a Taoist deity, although it is difficult to specifically identify her. She stands with her over sized right hand held in a closed fist, which originally may have held a long thin object. Her left hand is held in front of her chest with two center fingers raised from a clenched fist. Her animated body is portrayed in a slighly curving shape, the movement emphasized by the sleeves which flare outward from her elbows and by the bottom of her robe flaring outward from her body.
Her face is set in a slight smile with her bud mouth curved upward. Her hair is totally covered by a hood which extends down her back and is bordered at the forehead with a band centered in the front by two leaf like decorations. Her long ear lobes are bejeweled with earrings the top of which are shaped like a ruyi scepter, which is a wish giving wand meaning "as you like" or "may your wish be granted." This shape is also seen in Chinese art in cloud forms and in the lingzhi fungus, a symbol of longevity. Since both these shapes are so similar to the ruyi, also mean "may your wish be granted."
She wears an upper garment open at the chest and tied at the waist and a skirt which is carved in vertical pleats over pantaloons. Her shoes and the base upon which she stands are degraded by age. There is a closed bung in the back into which items and messages were placed during an eye opening ceremony.
Slight traces of the original pigmentation remain.
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