Image of a Female Taoist Deity
Item No. 19013
19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Wood with Pigmentation
9" x 4" x 2.75"
( 22.86 x 10.16 x 6.985 cm)
(H x W x D)
This image probably represents a female Taoist deity, although it is difficult to pinpoint her specific idenity. Her headress is adorned with a phoenix, a decorative motif frequently used in ceremonial costumes and one favored by the Empresses of China. The phoenix symbolizes sun and the warmth of summer since it presides over the southern quadrant of the heavens. It also symbolizes strength and the female principle of yin when coupled with the male principle yang. Her hands are held in front of her, covered by a ritual cloth and once contained a tablet. She is garbed in a long over garment opened to reveal a high collared under garment fastened at the waist with a long red scarf which extends to the hem of her robe.
She sits on a carved high back chair set on a decorative pedestal. The back of the figure contains a closed bung into which documents were placed during an eye opening ceremony.
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