One of the most common images in antique Asian statuary is the Buddha. With his serene face and relaxed yogic poses, a Buddha statue is intended to bring calmness and peace to everyone who encounters it.

Like most Buddhist art, such religious statues are designed to remind Buddha's followers of eternal truths. For example, the earliest images of Buddha showed him with a pair of Bodhisattvas, enlightened beings who became popular sculptural figures in their own right. These virtuous, generous souls, having stored up a tremendous amount of karma, are on their paths to being Buddhas.

Ancient Buddha statues often show him supported by lions. Buddhist mythology also tells of lions, thought to have magical powers of protection, which is why lion statues can often be found guarding temples. Since the ancient Chinese had never seen a real lion, it is believed they modeled their guardian lion statues after native dogs, such the Chow Chow. Commonly placed outside offices, temples, and businesses, these sculptures came to be known as Foo Dogs, or Fu Dogs.

Another popular motif is the Chinese ruyi, an abstract object, rumored to be an early back-scratcher, with a cloud-like head and S-shaped tail. The ruyi, elaborately carved and often made of expensive materials such as jade, is thought to bring power, leadership, and wealth.

For thousands of years, Chinese artisans have been carving jade, a precious stone believed to link the physical and spiritual realms. Jade has been turned into every object under the sun, including legendary figures, flora, fauna, landscapes, celestial bodies, mythological creatures, religious icons, and symbols of good fortune. The Japanese, meanwhile, became known for the skills in metal, which they routinely applied to statues.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

Gotheborg.com

Gotheborg.com

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Fine White Jade Statue Woman With Child On Wood Stand19thc Chinese Porcelain 9pc Hors D'oeuvre Set & Case Painted With FiguresBeautiful Early Antique Bronze Buddha Statue Tibetan Chinese 18thcVery Rare Baltic Amber Sterling Silver Cabinet Miniature Horse Rider FigureAntique Chinese Coral Carved Statue 4" TallFine 19th Century Chinese Carved Cow Bone Elder Sage Figure Antique Signed Estate Lot 3 Chinese Carved Coral Bird Figural Cinnabar Olive Nut NecklacesLarge Chinese Qing Dynasty Antique Bronze Buddha Statue Qianlong Marked Lc078Antique Chinese Early Qing Dynasty Quan Yin Kwan Yin Serpentine Statue SculptureVery Large Chinese Qing Dynasty Bronze Buddha Statue Chenghua Mark Ta163kHuge Lot Vintage Antique Mens Silver Gold Stone Figural Chinese Cuff LinksChinese 18th C Antique Bronze Man Buddha Sitting Statue Marked Yongzheng Ta208kAntique 20thc Hand Carved, Hard-stone, Chinese Foo Dog, Lions SculptureFine Old Chinese Set (8) Carved Jade Immortals Sculpture Carvings ArtNice Chinese Bronze Ming Sculpture Of A Seated Buddha On Lotusthrone 17th CNice Pair Of Chinese Porcelain Hatstands, Ca. 1900! Marked! Figures!China Sino-tibetan Gilt Bronze Yama Marici Buddha Buddhist King Of Light Nr YqzRare Ceramic Sculpture Of A Chinese Man "chih-fan" By French Sculptor Jean MichVery Old Chinese Gilt Lacquered Bronze Inscribed Figure.B585 Rare! Japanese Old Pottery Ware Buddhist Statue Guardians Of The Temple NioAncient Chinese Six Dynasties Northern Wei Pottery Figure / Statue - 386 AdNice Gilt Bronze Ming Sculpture Of A Standing Figure 17th Century!Beautifully Carved Chinese Horn Sculpture 19th Century On Original BaseLarge Ancient Chinese 18th C Qing Qianlong Bronze Buddha Statue Signed Mt56019th Century Or Earlier Antique Seated Bronze Burmese Buddha Inlaid EyesChinese Export Silver Desk Set In Case 4 Pieces Figures In Garden RareLate Ming To Early Qing Dynasty Chinese Standing Bronze Buddha StatueBeautiful Ancient Gandharan Schist Stone Frieze Sculpture - 300 Ad19c Tibeto Chinese Buddha Buddhist Lama Gilt Bronze Vajradhara Chakrasamvara YqzLarge Antique Chinese Qing Egg & Spinach Porcelain Immortal Figure With ScepterB558: Japanese Tasteful Ornament Stone Statue With Wooden Stand For Bonsai. Antique Chinese Oriental Carved Rootwood Deity Figure - Unusual!Ancient Chinese Wei Dynasty Pottery Buddha Shrine - 439 Ad19c Tibeto Chinese Buddha Buddhist Lama Gilt Bronze Vajradhara Chakrasamvara YqzBeautifully Carved Chinese Sculpture Of An Elegant Lady Circa 1900Extremely Rare Japanese Solid Sterling Silver Shi Shi Chinese Foo Lion FigurineAntique Chinese Hand Carved Wooden Bamboo Statue Immortal Figure W/ Lotus Flower18th C Kangxi Chinese Porcelain Tea Bowl Figures Eliza & Scholar Ladscape MarkedAntique Chinese Dehua Blanc De Chine Figure Of Guan Yin Wood Stand China Antique Carved Horn Figure Guanyin Probably QianlongEarly 20th C. Chinese Sancai Enamel Statue Of A Warlord On TigerSuper Finely Carved 19c Chinese Boxwood Lady Figure On Wood Stand, 6.8" H, N/rOld Chinese Jade Buddha With StandFine Antique Japanese Meiji Period Figural House Form Bronze CenserFine Old Chinese Or Korean Gold Gilt Bronze Carving Sculpture Scholar Work ArtNice Antique Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Bowl, 19-20th C With Figures Marked#909 Antique Asian Carved Foo Dog Miniature Netsuke Statue Ancient ArtifactBuddha:antique Chiang Saen Vitarka Mudra, Bronze W Traces Of Gilding, Late 1800s19thc Antique Japanese Woodblock Print Buddha Signed Artist????China Antique Blanc De Chine White Porcelain Buddha He Chaozong Signed Mt561Bronze Seated Tibetan Sculpture Of Syamatara 19th Century!Rare & Signed Japanese Sumida Bisque Pottery Dragon Figural Tea PotV. Rare Chinese Pewter Figure Of Buffalo, Glass Eyes, 19th CenturyOld Chinese Nephrite Celadon Jade Statue~old Man With Big Fish~affluent LifeCollectible Decorated Old Handwork Copper Carved Hitler StatueFine Old Chinese Carved Jade Censer Incense Burner Carving Sculpture ScholarAntique Chinese 18th / 19th Century Carved Soapstone Figure Emaciated ImmortalBeautiful Smoky Rock Crystal Figure Guanyin And Phoenix On Wooden StandAntique Ming 17th C. Chinese Bronze Buddha Kwanyin Am Figure Statue Superb RareNice Erotic Sculpture Of Courtisan Lady With Pronounced Red Nipples, Ca. 1900!