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Pair of Antique House Deities on Single Base
Item No. 19028

19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Wood with Polychrome
0" x 0" x 0"
( 0 x 0 x 0 cm)
(H x W x D)

This statue represents a pair of male and female Taoist figures carved on a long rectangular footed and waisted pedestal with a scalloped apron. The figures are seated in close proximity to each other on separate backless chairs with the flared hems of their robes almost touching. Each of their hands are held before them clasped together under a three layered ritual cloth which hangs down to their laps and partially covers the hu tables which they grasp. Hu tablets are narrow memorandum tablets, originally of ivory, which were carried by high officials and were considered as marks of rank. Hu tablets are strongly associated with Taoist figures. Each figure is dressed in a long sleeved mid length overcoat which is open to reveal their robes underneath. She has a decorative scalloped cowl at the neck, he has high round collar. She wears a decorative scalloped headdress and long earrings which extend to her shoulders. He wears a high lobed hat with a scalloped carved border resting on the forehead. Both have carved arched eyebrows meeting at the nose above heady lidded eyes cast down in solemn serenity. He has a beard and hair (probably the original animal hair) extending from below his ears. Both were originally covered with red lacquer which has been darkened with years of age and from the soot and smoke from incense lit in front of them when they were originally placed on an altar. The backs of each of the figures contains a carved niche into which were placed cloth containing documents and other items placed there during an eye opening ceremony. The cavity for the female figure is closed with the original "bung" and the male figure's cavity is open to reveal the cloth which is still there.

Based on their attire, the hu tables and their demeanor, it is probable that these figures represent the god and goddess of wealth.

Select for detailed information about Chinese Ancestor Statues.

Select for detailed information about Chinese Eye Opening Ceremony.

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