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    

Rare Fine Chinese Carved Celadon Jade / Jadeite Figure On Hardwood StandA Rare/beautiful Chinese 18c Famille Verte Figural Bottle-kangxiFine & Rare C19 Large Chinese Guangxu Period Hotei Laughing Buddha Buddha: Antique Chinese Ming Style Quan Yin, Gilt Bronze,1700's, Great PatinaVery Rare Antique 19th Century Chinese / Tibetan Bronze Of A Buddha And CreatureAntique Japanese Netsuke Carved Sculpture Japanese Antique Various Lot 7 Buddhist Buddha Statue Amida Nyorai Repaire PartsA Fine Antique Chinese Famille Rose Porcelain Plaque With Important Figures 19 CExceptionl Mint Large Chinese Hand Carved Old Red Coral Guanyin Figure 204 GramsBronze Sino/tibetan Green Tara BuddhaA073: Chinese Blue Porcelain Ware Incense Burner Of Foo Dog Statue Tenpai-shishiA Fine Antique Chinese Famille Rose Buddha Figure Statue Clean Impressed Mark RpFine Old Japanese Bronze Shrimp Realistic Marine Sea Life Statue SculptureAntique Intricately Carved Bovine Bone Figurine. Signed 300gAntique Large 19thc. Victorian Okimono Carved Puzzle Ball With Stand Figure Attractive Antique Chinese Boxwood Figure On Hardwood BaseFine Old Chinese Carved Green & White Jade Duck Sculpture FigureAntique Chinese Carved Wooden Figure Of A Reclining BuddhaPair Of 19th C. Asian Celadon Porcelain Elephant Figures Carrying UrnsAntique Japanese Carved Okimono Figure Of A LadyAntique Chinese Gilt Bronze Standing Buddha Figure With Mark Maybe Ming Period Pair Chinese Porcelain Canton Famille Rose Hexagonal Vases Figures ButterfliesExceptional Large 19 C Antique Japanese Bronze Okimono Figure Statue Signed 15"hVery Rare Antique 16th Century Chinese Carved Amber Hu Po Tiger Figure Fine Old Chinese Carved Green & White Jade Swan Duck Sculpture FigureVery Large Chinese Terracotta Lady Figure - Interesting Piece - Info WelcomePorcelain Famille Rose China Trade Huge God Fortune Mantle Mandarin Figure 1 YqzAntique Old Chinese Bamboo Root Carved Brush Pot~figures, Old Pine Tree, BambooFine & Rare C19 Pair Chinese Guangxu Mandarin & Wife Statues, Circa 1875-1908 Early Antique Chinese Polychrome Gilt Bronze Guardian Buddha Figure Qing PeriodPorcelain Famille Rose China Trade Huge God Wealth Mantle Mandarin Figure #2 YqzFine Rare C19 Large Chinese Guangxu Period 'signed' Famille Rose Shoulao StatueA 19th C Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Figures & Landscape Bowl Tongzhi PeriodChinese New Year Of The Monkey King 2016 Peach Pottery Sancai Statue Nr YqzAntique Carved Chinese Bamboo Brush Pot C1890 Wooden Carved FiguresFine Old Chinese Forbidden Stich Figures & Floral Embroidered Silk Robe PanelFine Old Chinese Carved Wood Stand For Buddha Statue Or Jade Object AFinest Vintage Japanese Sterling Silver Takasago Happy Couple Figurines Japan19th C. Chinese Carved Bamboo Figure Of A Seated LuohanCollectible Chinese Figurines Ornaments Three Men Traditional Dress - 371 E08Rare Big Antique Old Chinese Lapis Lazuli Stone Statue Big Ruyi Tree W/ BranchesFine Austrian Orientalist Bergman Bronze Figure A Stunning Chinese Early Ming Seated Buddha Statue Very RareWow! Unique 26 Jewelled Tibetan Bronze Tara Buddha. With Real Precious Gems! Nr Very Rare Ancient Chinese Song / Yuan Dynasty Pottery Figure - 960 AdExquisite Rare Vintage Pair Of Japanese Origami Sterling Silver Crane FigurinesVintage Large Heavy Bronze Thailand/asian/japanese/oriental Buddha Head On StandChinese Gilt Bronze Standing Figure Of Kwan-yin Guanyin On Lotus BaseAntique 18th C Indian Bronze Figure Of A Hindu God Or DeityXi’an Terracotta Warriors Tomb Of Qin Shihuang Souvenir Pottery (9) Figures YqzA229: Chinese Stone Seal Of Painter Or Calligrapher With Tasty Sculpture Work. 1Very Rare Old Antique Chinese Bronze Hero Man And Lion Statue Wa925Chinese Old Yak Horn Tibetan Hand Carved Skull Statue Pendants Collection DecoAntique Chinese Jade/jadeite Figure Of Woman.Fine Japanese Meiji Period Satsuma Figural & Dragons Brush Pot Signed ChoshuzanJapanese Antique Zushi Buddhist Statue Edo Temple Gold Foil Leaves Okimono YoroiLate 1800s Antique Japanese Geisha Wooden Statue Meiji EraTop Quality! Qing Period Ca 1900 Carved Huashi Soapstone Statue Chinese ImmortalRepublican Buddha Buddhist Guanyin Kwan-yin Eight Armed Wood Carving Namaste Yqz11kwl Japanese Vtg Nichirenshu Buddhist Buddha Statue Sanpouson Wood Gold Gilt