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    

Beautiful Antique Chinese Carved Lapis Lazuli Hard Stone Figure GroupAntique Thai, Burmese, Chinese Gilt Bronze Buddha, Qing Dynasty, Provenance.Chinese Root Wood Figure Carved Sculpture Statue Of Immortal God Shou Lao LargeAntique Thai, Nepalese, Chinese Gilt Bronze Buddha, Qing Dynasty, Provenance.Very Beautiful Chinese Bronze Buddha Holding Stupa - Buddhist - Very Rare - L@@kRare Antique Chinese Carved Soapstone Buddha & Elephant Large Plaque Panel Qing2 Netsuke Figures - Wild Boar & CraneChinese Famille-rose Laughing Buddha.mark And Period Of Republic.Rare Antique Chinese Coral Carving Of Shao Luo "god" Of LongevityA Good Antique Chinese Bronze Figure Of Standing Buddha W Nice PatinaPair! 25cm!! Antique Chinese Turquoise Buddhist Lions Ming-qing Dynasty StatueAntique Chinese Hand Carved Bamboo "figure And Wine".Chinese Antique Dehua Figure Group, Gaunyin, Qing/ Republic Blanc De Chine, RareAntique Chinese Ming Dynasty Superb Bronze Statue Of A Buddha, Rare, Provenance.C1860, Large Antique 19thc Indian Cast And Engraved Bronze Horse Statue FigurineRare 18thc Antique Chinese Export Porcelain Pug Dog Figures Clipped Ear China Antique Japanese Carved Netsuke Of Daikoku, God Of Good Fortune, Meiji 19th CentFine Antique 19th Century Chinese Tibetan Copper Bronze Lama FigureFine Chinese Porcelain Tea Pot - Figural & Script In Famille Rose Colours 19thc18thc Chinese Porcelain Yongzheng Tea Bowl & Saucer With Central Figure DecorFine Antique Chinese Soapstone Shoushan Carving Figure Han Eight ImmortalsNice Lot Of 7 Antique Chinese Silver Hat Finials Stands Happy Buddha AnimalsFine Old Indonesian? Carved Wooden Tribal Figure W/ Painted Face Nr!Pair Of Chinese Silver "figure"cupsChinese Buddha Budai Figure Blanc De Chine Porcelain Antique Republic Qing19thc Chinese Quan Yin Statue Figure Signed Marked Famille Rose Qing PorcelainAncient Carved Stone Head Bust **chinese Buddha**Unusual Antique Carved Chinese Bamboo Figure Group19th Century Lanna Thai Carved Gilt Wood Buddha Atop Red BaseLarge Chinese Porcelain "fu" Figure.Antique Chinese Ming Dynasty Superb Bronze Heavy Statue, General, Provenance.A Pair Of Chinese Carved Bronze Figures Of Immortal Scroll Weight.qing Dynasty.Very Rare Old Chinese Ancient Gilt Bronze Guanyin Buddha Statue Marks Qa004Finely Carved Tibetan Carved Sandalwood Buddha Goddess Figure Bow & ArrowMing Dynasty Chinese Bronze Buddha Figure Statue Wood Base.Nice Old Vintage Philippines Igorot Carved Wooden Tribal Figures Ex Luciano Col.Rare Antique Bronze Buddha 1800s With Hidden ScrollsFine Old Japanese Carved Yakusugi Cedar Wood Tanuki Racoon Dog SculptureChinese Exquisite Hand-carved Dushan Jade Old Man & Children & Landscape StatueFine Antique Chinese Figural Embroidery, 18th/19th CFine Old Chinese Carved Jade Court Lady Figurine Scholar's Table SculptureLarge Antique Chinese Porcelain Figurine With Fish Fine Old Chinese Celadon Nephrite Jade Carved Brush Pot Statue Qing Dy.Unusual Small Antique Chinese Qing Bronze Figure Figural Tripod Stand Not WoodChinese Pale Green & Russet Jade Buddha Budai Figure - Very Fine CarvingAntique Chinese Carved Malachite Stone Kwan Yin StatueAntique Jadeite Statue / Carved Monkey And PeachBrass Chinese Foo Dog Statue, Foo Fu Dog Guardian / Temple Lion,Beautiful Old Or Antique Chinese Carved Green Jade Buddha On StandChina Exquisite Hand-carved Two Birds Flowers Carving Natural Xiuyan Jade StatueBeautiful Vintage Chinese Soapstone Hand Carved Roosters Statue Figures.Folk Old Chinese Auspicious Bronze Wealth Zodiac Year Dog Greyhound StatueChinese Collectable Cloisonne Inlaid Rhinestone Elephant Statue Chinese Brass Carved Elephant & Ruyi Statue Chinese Exquisite Hand-carved Tortoise Character Carving Hetian Jade StatueOld Peiking (18~19th) Brass Handwork Lucky Rabbit Statue Collectible Decorated Old Handwork Bronze Dog Statue NrLarge Antique 35in Bronze Japanese Seiya Meiji Period Roaring Tiger SculptureTwo Chinese Antique Famille Rose Porcelain Figures Of Immortal Shou LuAntique Chinese 1800's Rare White Jade Hand Carved Horse And Monkey Figurine!