Seated Mandarin Official Ancestor Figure
Item No. 16141
18th - 19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Wood with Polychrome
9.25" x 5" x 3.75"
( 23.495 x 12.7 x 9.525 cm)
(H x W x D)
This seated Mandarin sits on a high back chair set on a high curved pedestal. His left arm rests on his knee and his right is held up in front of him. Both hands are clutched and originally held a slim vertical object. He is dressed in typical garb of a low ranking Mandarin. He wears an official’s hat which is conical in shape has a circular indentation into which a finial was originally placed.
He wears a solid color calf-length surcoat with buttons down the front which is open to reveal a. plain long gown (nei tao) with two red scarves extending to the hem which falls to just above he shoes. His face is well and deeply carved, with heavy lidded eyes, rounded nose and pursed lips in a benevolent expression. His advanced aged is indicated by the wrinkles on his forehead and cheeks.
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.
Craig Clunis, "Chinese Furniture," Victoria and Albert Publications, London, 1988.
Valery M. Garrett, “A Collector’s Guide to Chinese Dress Accessories,” Singapore, Times Editions
Valery Garret, Chinese Clothing, An Illustrated Guide.” Hong Kong, Oxford University Press, 1994.
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