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Seated Taoist House Deity
Item No. 16052

18th - 19th Century, Taoist / Popular Religions, China
Lacquer over Wood and Polychrome
11.25" x 5.5" x 4.5"
( 28.575 x 13.97 x 11.43 cm)
(H x W x D)

This image probably 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 backless seat. Both hand held up crossed before his chest holding a removable tablet that represents his hu tablet that would have read "Tien Guan bestows good fortune." He is garbed in voluminous robes. He wears an official's cap with five vertical strands and carved border on his forehead and curled around the back. His full face with carved broad lidded eyes, large flat nose, and large pendulous ears engenders feelings of respect, power and integrity.

The statue is covered with burgundy lacquer and traces of copper pigmentation throughout. 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 aftr Chinese New Year.

Select for detailed information about Statues of Chinese Officials.

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