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Carved Image of Zhenwu
Item No. 16610

18th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Wood with Pigmentation
15.5" x 7" x 4"
( 39.37 x 17.78 x 10.16 cm)
(H x W x D)

This image represents the Taoist god, Zhenwu (Perfected Warrior), whose origins stem from the Late Warring States and the Han Dynasty (3rd Century B.C. - 3rd Century A.D. ) when he was known as Xuanwu or Dark Warrior. He is traditionally represented with a tortoise entwined by a snake and was the ancient symbol of the North and, hence, was one of the deities of the four cardinal directions. Here his left bare foot is placed on the back of a tortoise and his right is held in the air above a slithering snake. He wears the attire of a warrior, with flaring sleeves at his elbows, a decorative apron at his waist and armor on his knees. His left hand is clenched and his right once head a shafted weapon. His head, which is bent forward with a slight smile, and shoulders are framed with a celestial scarf. He sits upon a broad chair set on a tiered throne. As is traditional, his long hair extends down his back. Traces of the original red pigmentation and gilt remain on this fine carving.

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