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    

Pair Large 1760 Chinese Qianlong Famille Rose Palace Ware Imperial Figures VasesRare Massive 18/19c Chinese Gold Gilt Polychrome Painted Buddha Figure Head BustImportant Large Chinese Ming Dynasty Gold Lacquer Shakyamuni Buddha FigureV.rare 18thc Chinese Qianlong Gilt Bronze Blue Enamel Lohan Scholar FigureFine 19thc Chinese Qing Dynasty Light Celadon Jade Twin Cat Lion Figure PendantLarge Old Chinese Carved Jade Jadeite Statue Of Standing Figure On Wood StandAuth. Chinese Spinach Jade Dragon Figural Wall Table Plaque Silver Inlaid FrameExquisite Large 18/19thc Qing Chinese Boxwood Carved Luohan Sculpture FigureEx. Rare Chinese Bronze Temple Palace Geese Figure Censers Ming Qing DynastyLarge And Impressive Chinese Tibetan Gilt Bronze Seated BuddhaAntique Large Indian Thai Gold Gilt Laquered Wood Carved Buddha Figure StatueLovely Antique Chinese Qianjiang Porcelain Planter With Figures + Writing Large 18/19thc Chinese Boxwood Carved Damo Bodhidharma Luohan Sculpture FigureJapanese Antique Wooden Treen Lacquer Signed Figure Inro Nut Faces NetsukeSupurb Antique Japanese Netsuke Of Warrior Figure On Table.18th C Chinese Porcelain Qianlong Fluted Mandarin Figures TeapotAntique Chinese Carved Netsuke Okimono Etc Stunning Hand Carved Figure Circ 1890Very Early Carved Figures Antique Indian Eastern Seated Male Female Chinese NrEstate Lot 5 Chinese Blanc De Chine Dehua Porcelain Guanyin Immortal FiguresSuperb Antique 18th Chinese Carved Filigree Figural Pagoda Flowers Brise FanAntique Chinese Gilt Bronze Statue Of Standing Figure 17/18cFinely Detaild Early Chinese Gold Gilt Lacquer Carved Wood Emperor Throne FigureGreat Chinese Carved White Jade Monkey Figural SealNice Antique Chinese Carved Coral Figural Group Of BirdsAntique Bergman Cold Painted French Spelter Large Figures Of Musicians 1880Antique 19th C Chinese Canton Lidded Pot Finely Carved With Figures In A GardenAntique Chinese Qing Carved Wood Crowned Buddha Polychrome Sculpture FigureFin. Detailed Chinese Blanc De Chine Dehua White Porcelain Guanyin Figure SignedUnusual C1860 Chinese Qing Dynasty Famille Rose Imperial Figures Lidded BowlGood Antique Chinese Bronze Figure Of Seated Zhenwu19th.c Chinese Carved Wooden Gilt Lacquered Panel Temple Figural Scene'sOld Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Tea Kettle Teapot Chirography Figure SgGreat Chinese Spinach Jade Mythical Deer Figure Wall Table Plaque Silver Frame19th C Chinese Porcelain Wanli Mark Blue & White Wucai Figures Dragon BowlJapanese Meiji Period Silvered Bronze Oni Devil Figure On Stone Base C.1900Old Burmese Kammavaca Pali Prayer Manuscript Molded Buddha Covers Hand PaintedAntique Chinese Porcelain Bowl Famille Rose Figures Turquoise Glaze Tongzhi MarkAntique Chinese 17th/18thc Bronze Incense Burner Censer Pair Figure Liu Hai ToadFine Antique Chinese Tibetan Gilt Bronze Statue Of Dancing Shiva 1700'sFine Chinese 17th / 18th Century Gilt Bronze Buddha Guanyin Figure StatueFine Antique Chinese Hand Carved Red Pink Coral Dragon Figure Statue CarvingFine Antique 18thc Qing Chinese Blanc De Chine Dehua Porcelain Guanyin FigureEarly Pre-columbian Mayan Or Aztec Terracotta Head Figural BustBig Ultra Fine Islamic Persian Qajar Tray Qalamzani Figures Hunting Animals 68cmRare Antique Chinese Ming Hardwood Carved Guanyin & Child Polychromed Sculpture19th Century Chinese Wooden Raft With Guanyin And AttendantsVery Fine 19thc Tibetan Gold Lacquer Kammavaca Buddha Prayer Script TabletsAntique Chinese Carved Jade Jadeite Statue Of Figure With DogInteresting Old Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Dragon Figural Gui Blade NeolithicRare Antique Chinese Gold Lacquer Figural 1000 Faces Painted Scene Cabriolet FanAntique Chinese Hand Carved Figure Of Immortal Qing Dynasty Silver Inlaid ChinaGood Antique Chinese Carved Wood Wooden Panel Figures EtcLarge Antique Chinese Export Porcelain Bowl With Figures - Qianlong PeriodFine Antique Chinese Carved Soapstone Shou Figure- Signed Statue Vintage LargeFine Antique Chinese Porcelain Figure Eight Daoist Immortal Qianlong 18th C 2Pair Chinese Solid Silver Dragon Figural Archaic Libation Ceremonial Wine CupsAntique Chinese Jadeite Jade Carving Statue Of Woman And FlowersFine Pair Japanese Meiji Satsuma Figures Horses Animal Miniature Vases - SignedFine Foochow Fuzhou Carved Wooden Lacquered Figure Of A Sage Immortal 21.5 CmsAntique Chinese Blue And White Porcelain Jar With Scene Of Figures