Taoist House Deity Holding a Tablet
Item No. 16806
19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Lacquer over Wood with Polychrome and Gilt
7" x 3.25" x 2.5"
( 17.78 x 8.255 x 6.35 cm)
(H x W x D)
This image represents Tian Guan, one of the three Taoist Deities referred to as the Three Official Divinities, or San Guan Shen. Tian Guan is known as the Deity of Heaven who brings good fortune to devotees and their families.
He is shown here, as is typical, seated regally and with authority on a high pedestal backless seat. Both hand held up crossed before his chest holding a removable table that represents his hu tablet that would have read "Tian Guan bestows good fortune." He is garbed in voluminous robes, with an overcoat open to reveal a belt from which extends a long tied sash with a bow. He wears an official's cap with six vertical strands and carved border on his forehead and curled around the back. His square face with carved broad lidded eyes, flat nose, and large pendulous ears engenders feelings of respect, power and integrity.
The statue is in very good condition and contains most of its original copper lacquered finish and red pigmentation.This image was probably placed on a home altar where devotees lit incense and made offering of fruit, vegetables, flowers, wine and paper cut outs during the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month after Chinese New Year.
The image is in excellent condition with some age cracks and chips to the back, base and side of the head, with losses to the bottom.