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 Old Chinese 18th/19th White Jade Mirror Carving Dragon Sculpture ScholarFine Old Chinese 18th/19th White Jade Carved Dragon Belt Hook Carving SculptureFine Antique Chinese Carved Jade Statue Of Figures In Fitted CaseFine Old Chinese Carved Coral Branch Beauty Carving Sculpture ScholarLarge Antique Japanese Satsuma Pottery Okimono Statue Of Seated DogGreat Pair Of Large Antique Chinese Wucai Covered Jars Vases With FiguresAntique Chinese Tibetan Gilt Bronze Statue Of Seated Figures With Nice DetailExceptional Pair Of Antique Chinese Tibetan Gilt Bronze Statues Of CreaturesFine Old Chinese Carved Coral Tall Beauty Carving Sculpture Art ScholarLot Of Three Chinese Carved Malachite Statues Of FiguresFinely Carved Old Chinese Jade Statue Carving Of Figures And BirdA Huge Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue & White Kangxi Censer Figures 17th CenturyAntique Chinese Famille Verte Porcelain Tile Plaque With Scene Of FiguresSmall Chinese Or Tibetan Gilt Bronze Figure Of Buddha 19th Century Or OlderOld Chinese Porcelain Statue Of Figure Riding On Animal With MarksSuperb Antique Chinese Export Silver Sculpture Of Carved Wood Bench - Hung ChongFine Old Chinese 19th/20th Carved Agate Beauty Carving Sculpture Scholar Art18th Century Qianlong Antique Chinese Carved Brushrest And/or Stand For A FigureExceptional Large Antique Chinese Famille Verte Covered Jar With Figures #1Antique Ancient Gandhara Schist Stone Buddha, Buddhist Interest, Genuine, 3 ItemSuperb Massive Chinese Early 20th C Republic Famille Rose Porcelain BuddhaAntique Bronze Buddha Shakyamuni Holding Medicine Bowl 19thc TibetTwo Old Chinese Enameled Filigree Silver Bird Statues On StandsInteresting Old Chinese Carved Stone Statue Of Seated Kwanyin Finished With GiltVery Large And Impressive Antique Chinese Porcelain Fish Bowl Planter W FiguresFine 18th / 19th C Chinese Incised Soapstone Jewelled Luohan Figure On StandAntique Chinese Bronze Statue Of Seated Deity Buddha With Lotus BaseLarge Old Japanese Bronze Statue Okimono Of TigerFine Old Chinese Carved Coral Woman Beauty Carving Sculpture Scholar ArtNice Pair Of Antique Chinese Cloisonne Statues Of Standing BirdsChinese Ming Dynasty Bronze Buddha Warrior FigureFine Old Chinese Carved Horn Pendant Finger Citron Buddha's Hand Jewelry ArtA Large Chinese Porcelain Buddha Budai With Mark To Base 20thc Republic17th Century Antique Chinese Carved Zitan Wooden Inkstone Or Stand For FigureFine Old Chinese Cast Bronze Mythic Lion Dog Figural Monumental Door KnockerWanli Chinese Marbled Glaze Cizhou Figure - Daoist Diety Ming Dynasty Circa 1597Chinese Sino Tibetan 19th Century Bronze Buddha Yama Standing On A BullardA Large Chinese Porcelain Buddha Budai With Boys & Mark To Base 20thc RepublicLarge Chinese Dehua Blanc-de-chine Figure Of Guanyin 19th Century Or OlderNice Pair Of Antique Chinese Rose Mandarin Auspicious Figures PlatesAntique Indian Fine Bronze Statue Of A Deity, 18th Century Or Earlier, Very RareSmall Antique Tibet Bronze Buddha Medicine Bowl And Hand Raised ShakyamuniPair Of Old Antique Chinese Glazed Pottery Statues Of ParrotsStunning Quality! Ca 1700 Chinese Bronze Of God Wenchang Statue 'wood Stand'Chinese Blue And White Porcelain Plaque With Figure And WritingAntique Chinese Carved Figure Okimono Etc Superb Indian Deity Sarasvati Circ1890Large + Impressive Old Chinese Porcelain Statue Of Figure With Child On BackAntique Japanese Meiji Period Geisha Girl Okimono Statue SignedAntique Chinese Or Korea Bronze Buddha With Inscription, Very Rare, Qing DynastyOld Tibetan Tantric Buddha Drum Nepalese Chinese Kapala Buddhist Temple AntiquePair Of Chinese 19thc Blue & White Baluster Vases - Figural DesignFine Pair 19th C Chinese Porcelain Canton Famille Rose Figures PlatesFine Old Japanese Meiji Period Signed Inscribed Brush Pot Sculpture ArtFine Old Chinese Carved Jichimu Chicken Wing Wood Stand For Figurines ArtBeautiful Old Antique Japanese Satsuma Pottery Bowl With Figures Meiji PeriodFine Old Chinese Signed Bronze Censer Incense Burner Carving SculptureAntique Chinese Finely Carved Rosewood Fan Figures 19th Century Vtg WoodenAntique Old Chinese Cinnabar Lacquer Made Big Bowl Statue Qian Long Mark18th/19th C. Chinese Incised Bronze Figure Of GuanyinOld Chinese Famille Rose Decorated Porcelain Statue Of Standing Figure