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16423

Seated Mandarin Ancestor Figure
Item No. 16423

19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Wood
11.5" x 4.25" x 2.5"
( 29.21 x 10.795 x 6.35 cm)
(H x W x D)

This seated Mandarin sits on a high back chair set on a high plain pedestal. Both arms rest on his knees with hands clutched and which originally might have held a slim vertical object. He is dressed in typical garb of a low ranking Mandarin. He wears a Mandarin’s hat which is conical in shape with a broad band. He wears a high collar solid color calf-length surcoat with buttons down the front which is open to reveal a plain long gown (nei tao) which falls to just above the shoes. His face is deeply carved, with arched eyebrows, heavy lidded eyes, flat nose, high cheekbones and pursed lips in a benevolent expression. His advanced aged is indicated by the wrinkles on his forehead.
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.
Sources:
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.
16423 Seared Mandarin Ancestor


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