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    

Finely Painted Chinese Porcelain Shallow Bowl With Figures And Yongzheng MarkPhenominal Antique Carved Natural Coral Figurine Playing Drum 93mm TallExtra Large Antique Carved Natural Coral Figurine 5 1/2 Inch TallExceptional Large Old Chinese Carved Jade Cliff Statue With Figures - PublishedSuperb Antique Chinese Tibetan Gilt Bronze Statue Of Seated MilarepaAntique Chinese Tibetan Gilt Bronze Statue Of Seated LamaAntique Chinese Bronze Figural Censer In The Form Of Recumbent QilinUnusual Large Antique Chinese Pottery Statue Of Figure On Animal - Yixing SignedExtremely Large + Heavy Antique Chinese Carved Wood Gilt Lacquer Statue FiguresAntique Chinese Tibetan Gilt Bronze Statue Of Seated Figure On Lotus Base - 18cLarge Lot Of Old Chinese Carved Stone Items Censers Brush Washers Figures EtcVery Large And Impressive Antique Chinese Kesi Panel With Large Scene Of FiguresChinese Carved Jade Small Bowl With Figural HandlesLarge Antique Chinese Turquoise And Aubergine Glazed Statue Of Figure On ThroneLarge And Impressive Antique Chinese Famille Verte Porcelain Bowl W FiguresOld Chinese Jade Carving Of Two Figures And Lotus Pod Mirror Pair Of Old Chinese Carved Jade Standing Figures With FishAntique Chinese Carved Jade Statue Of Two Figures W Bird And AnimalLarge And Impressive Antique Chinese Blanc De Chine Statue Of Figure On Foo LionCeladon And Russet Jade Chinese Carved Statue Of Figures At Base Of CliffChinese Carved Jade Statue Of Birds Sitting Amongst Trees On Wood StandJapanese Antique Netsuke Silver Copper God Crane Bird Samurai Fitting InroVery Large Antique Chinese Textile With Figures Mounted On Scroll5 Pc Lot Of Old Chinese Coral And Lapis Carvings Statues EtcVery Fine Antique Chinese Dehua Blanc De Chine Porcelain Statue Seated FigureFabulous And Unusual Antique Chinese Silk Jacket Robe With Dragons + Figures5 Pc Lot Of Chinese Carved Jade Pendants Finials Plaques Statues EtcChinese Tibetan Gilt Bronze And Painted Statue Of Standing DakiniUnusual Old Cizhou Style Pottery Glazed State Of Figure On ThroneAntique Chinese Gilt Bronze Statue Of Young Buddha On Lotus Base - Ming DynastyLarge Old Chinese Soapstone Statue Man And Tiger With Excellent Carving Large Old Chinese Carved Wood Frame With Openwork And FiguresLarge Antique Chinese Blanc De Chine Statue Of Seated Woman With ScrollNice Antique Chinese Rectangular Porcelain Planter Bowl With Painted FiguresHighly Detailed Antique Chinese Blanc De Chine Porcelain Statue Of Kwanyin - 18cLarge Pair Of Chinese Porcelain Statues Of Standing Figures With BasketsSuperb Quality Antique Chinese Blanc De Chine Statue Of Seated Figure SignedAntique Chinese Silver Dragon Handled Tankard Mug W Continuous Scene Of FiguresTwo Antique Chinese Blanc De Chine Dehua Porcelain Statues - 19c2 Vintage Chinese Hand Carved Figure Shou God Immortal, Budha And Lady GoddessLarge And Impressive Antique Thai Bronze Standing Buddha On PedestalVery Rare Antique Chinese Song Qingbai Yingqing Figural EwerIntricately Carved Antique Chinese Lacquered Wood Statue Of Standing FigureTwo Small Antique Meiji Japanese Kobe Kobi Toy Carved Wooden Figures Not NetsukeVery Large Old Chinese Asian Bronze Statue Of Seated GaneshaLot Of Old Antique Chinese Bronze Statues Censer EtcGood Group Japanese Meiji Period Kobe Kobi Toy Carved Wooden Automaton FiguresNice Pair Of Old Chinese Carved Jade Statues Of Seated Monkeys With PeachVery Large And Well Done Old Chinese Textile Embroidery With Figures And AnimalsUnusual Antique Chinese Blanc De Chine Detailed Statue Of Seated Figure Great Set Of Old Chinese Blanc De Chine Porcelain Statue Depicting 8 ImmortalsAntique Chinese Turquoise And Aubergine Glazed Pottery Statue - Ming DynastyLot Of Three Antique Asian Thai Bronze Statues Of Standing Figures Three Antique Chinese Blanc De Chine Statues Of Standing Figures Antique Chinese Natural Coral Tree Form Sculpture,the Tree Of Wealth 19th CLarge Old Chinese Spinach Green Jade Statue Carving Of Standing Kwan Yin Antique 19thc Japanese Meiji Period Fine Quality Carved Netsuke Of A FigureNice Fine 4 Panel Kangxi Marked & Period "klapmuts Bowl", Ca. 1700, Figures.Large And Impressive Old Chinese Porcelain Statue Of Standing Figure W MarksNice Pair Of Old Chinese Blanc De Chine Porcelain Statues Of Boys Holding Peach