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Wood Statue of Queen Mother of the West on a Horse
Item No. 16138

18th - 19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Lacquer over Wood and Polychrome
15" x 7" x 4"
( 38.1 x 17.78 x 10.16 cm)
(H x W x D)

This statue represents the Queen Mother of the West astride a horse. The carver emphasized her importance by making her very large in comparison to the horse on which she is placed. The horse is outfitted in a manner to reflect the importance of the rider, as he is garbed with a wide blanket that hangs down the sides, prominent head gear and a double rowed harness with a decorative medallion. She wears the characteristic headdress centered with a phoenix which holds back her hair which is tied in a bun. Her square face is framed by abundant hair, pendulous ears and hanging earrings. Her left hand rests on her left leg and her right hand is held up and might originally have held a peach of immortality. She wears a three-part gown consisting of a long and loose undergarment that ends just above her pointed shoes, an over garment with long, wide and loose hanging sleeves that hang to her shins and a high collared long tunic tied above the waist which opens to expose the undergarment. It is painted red and covered with a thick dark lacquer which has some losses and crackles. The sculpture is attached to a plinth which was added later. The bung in the back is open to reveal the original paper that was inserted during an eye opening ceremony.

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