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]

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    

19th/20th Antique Old Chinese/ Tibetan Cow Bone Deep Carving Figure-- Large!Most Unusual Old Figure - Possibly Middle Easter - Needs Restoration - RareHuge Estate Lot Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Agate Stone Jade Jadeite Figures BoxesMing Chinese Seated Bronze Buddha With Traces Of Red Paint, Good SurfaceEstate Lot Japanese Meiji Cloisonne Ginbari Silver Enamel Scenic Figural VasesEstate Lot Chinese Carved Jade Bronze 18k Gold Pendants Dragon Figures SealEstatelot Chinese Carved Jade Stone Scholars Water Lot Seals Buddha Fish FiguresAntique Chinese Ming Dynasty Gold Gilt Bronze Buddha Figure, Statue W Stand RareEstate Lot Chinese Rock Crystal Red Stone Seal Bronze Imperial Maiden FigureFine Antique Chinese Carved Cow Bone Figure Of A Beauty With Bell - C.1900Chinese Carved Icy White Emerald Jade Jadeite Pendant Twin Cat Fu Lion Figure Fine Antique Chinese Carved Cow Bone Figure Of A Beauty With Cymbals - C.1900Large Ancient Chinese Han Dynasty Terracotta Pottery Mythical Beast - 206 BcEstate Lot Chinese Ming Dynasty Sancai Mythical Imperial Figures Qilin Fu Lion Fine Antique Chinese Famille Jaune Verte Warrior Figures Bowl - 18/19th CenturyA Beautiful Chinese Export Silver Card Case Figural 1850Etate Lot Chinese Ming Dynasty Sancai Turquoise Glazed Elephant Imperial FiguresH653: Real Old Japanese Cultural Tasty Netsuke Of Popular Foo Dog StatueMuseum Antique 19th C Japanese Meiji Bronze Deer Figurine Statue Sculpture JapanBeautiful Antique Chinese Soapstone Figure On Hardwood StandSuperb Antique Chinese Old Bronze Buddha Amitayus Tara Bodhisattva Figure Statue20th C. Chinese Carved Nephrite Jade Horse FigurineAncient Chinese Tang Dynasty Terracotta Figure Of A Greyhound Dog - 618 AdSuperb C1900 Chinese Carved Soapstone God Of Wisdom On Stone Stand 12" HighOld Chinese 3 Colour Sancai Glaze Biscuit Buff Pottery Parrot Figures ChinaChinese Ming Bronze Bodhisattva Buddha On Foo Lion With Bird & Snake, 16/17th C.Lot Chinese Celadon Jade Bi Disc Orange Coral Pendants Jadeite Zodiac Figures Carved Excelnt Condition Antique Japanese Kabuki Character Figures Demon NetsukeAntique Meiji (1868-1912) Seiya Japanese Bronze Seated Figure On A Bale, Signed18th C Chinese Qianlong Porcelain Mandarin Figures TeapotAntique Chinese Polychrome Lacquered Gilt Wood Figure Of Guandi - Ming/qingBest Quality Chinese 18th/19thc Intricately Carved Cow Bone Mammoth StatueEstate Lot Chinese Spinach Jade Soapstone Emperor Imperial Maiden Horse FigureEstate Antique Chinese Archaic Bronze Vases Indian Bronze Buddha Deity FiguresFine Old Chinese Bronze Figural Swan Form Scholar's Teapot SignedVery Interesting Chinese Gilt Bronze Animal Figure Seal - Rare - L@@kFine Antique Chinese Carved Cow Bone Emperor Figurine NrAntique Old Huge Chinese Hand Carved Cow Bone Bull African Elephant Statue 360gFine Old Chinese Carved Cherry Red Amber Resin Bird Of Paradise Scholars StatueNice Lg Old Chinese Carved Cherry Amber Statue Of Lady Wood Stand (not Plastic)A Small Antique Indian Finely Carved Cow Bone Figure Of Krishna.Fine Old Chinese Carved Red Ox Horn Taoist Shou Star Longevity Buddha StatueEstate Lot Chinese Carved Rose Quartz Agate Stone Maiden Figure Elephant BuddhaBuddha: Antique Chiang Saen Bhumisparsamudra, Thailand, Late 1800s, Gilt Bronze 20th Century Chinese Carved Coral FigureLot (3) Vintage Oriental Wood Carved Panel Folk Art Gold Figural Old Wall Plaque10gy Japanese Old Iron Buddhist Amida Nyorai Statue Buddha Daibutsu Surface 9kgAntique Hand Painted Chinese Tea Bowl & Saucer Figural 4 Character Mark KangxiNice Pr Of Antique Chinese Export Famille Rose Reclining Figures 18th/early 19cAntique Carved Cow Bone Elephant Scene Statue CarvingRare Antique Tibetan Bird Faced Bronze Statue Tibet Qing Dynasty ChinaAntique Chinese Porcelain 19thc Famille Verte Ink Pot ~ FiguralAntique Vintage Chinese S. Silver Natural Carved Levender Jade Guanyin Pendant Large Ancient Chinese Han Dynasty Terracotta Pottery Goat Figure - 206 BcFine Antique Indian Chinese Carved Cow Bone Figure Of Gandhi Huge Tibet Buddha Buddhist Lamaist Prayer Wheel Carved Horn Lacquer Mantra YqzFine Chinese Blue And White Jar Figure Jiajing Mark Superb Antique Chinese Hand Carved Filigree Figural Scenes Figures Brise FanAntique Chinese Ming Dynasty Painted Pottery Gentleman Statue - 1368 AdFine Chinese Big 32" Gold Gilt Wood Carving Lotus Panel Birdsplaque Sculpture