Seated Mandarin Official Ancestor Figure
Item No. 16152
19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Wood with Pigmentation
10.25" x 4.5" x 2.5"
( 26.035 x 11.43 x 6.35 cm)
(H x W x D)
This wood carving represents an official seated on a backless chair with his feet on a high foot rest, dressed in typical garb of a Mandarin: a short rounded shaped cap, high collared coat buttoned half way down the front and held open at the bottom to reveal an undergarment which reaches to the tip of his pointed shoes. Both arms are bent and held to his sides with each of the fists clenched to hold a small vertical object. His face is well and deeply carved, with heavy lidded eyes, rounded nose and pursed smiling lips in a benevolent expression. His advanced aged is indicated by the wrinkles on his forehead, cheeks and lips. The statue is in good condition with portions of the original lacquer covering and traces of red and gold pigmentation throughout. \
This carving was used on a home shrine. The back of the carving contains a cavity into which was placed sutras (or scriptures) and messages to ancestors. The figure originally would have been brought to a temple, where it would have been given an “eye opening ceremony" performed by a Buddhist or Taoist monk. The original document is still contained in the open cavity.
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