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    

Superb Chinese Carved Light Green Celadon Jade Elephant W Imperial Boys FigureV. Rare Chinese Ming Dynasty Lacquer Bronze Guanyin Buddha Figure W Lotus StandEx.rare C1770 Chinese Imperial Qianlong Gold Gilt Bronze Amitayus Buddha Figure Important Signed Large Chinese Imperial Qianlong Gold Gilt Bronze Buddha FigureRare Chinese Ming Dynasty Bronze Emperor Imperial Attendant Figure W ThroneAntique Chinese Carved Superb Early Republic Statue Of A Mountain Landscape RareAntique 19-20c Chinese Carved White Coral Quanyin Kwan Yin Figure Statue On BaseVery Rare Chinese Song Ming Dynasty Gold Gilt Bronze Guanyin Buddha FigureImportant Sign Chinese Paktong Silver Etched Scenic Imperial Figural Basin Bowl Vry Fine Chinese Qing Dynasty Carved Light Celadon Jade Horse With Monkey FigureRare Antique Huge Netsuke Hand Carved Signed Japanese StatueFine Antique Chinese Carved Orange Agate Carnelian Stone Imperial Maiden FigureA Finely Carved Chinese Jade Figure Of Guanyin Antique Chinese Silver Turquoise And Enamel Statue Of A Foo Horse, Marked 825.Chinese Hand Carved Coral Figurine Boys & Dragon 1850-1899 Natural OrangeVtg Chinese Export Hand Carved Green Celadon Jade Birds In Branch Sculpture LflIntricately Carved Antique Japanese/chinese Okimono Figure - With MarkVtg Chinese Export Pink Carved Angel Skin Coral 11" Kwan Quan Yin Sculpture LflImpressive Pair Antique Chinese Porcelain Figural Ginger Jars - Jade Inlaid LidsA Unusual Good 20th Century Chinese Carved Jade Jadeite Serpentine FigureVery Fine Antique Chinese Celadon Jade Recumbent Phoenix Bird Figure Pendant Chinese 18/19thc White Hetian Jade Crane Bird With Ruyi Lotus Figure PendantVery Fine Chinese Carved White Green Jade Jadeite Imperial Maiden FigureVery Fine 19thc Signed Japanese Solid Bronze Elephant FigureAntique Chinese Carved Soapstone Statue Of Women And Bats, Qing Dynasty Piece.Very Fine Chinese Qing Dynasty Carved Spinach Jade Dragon Figural Belt Hook Huge Dehua Blanc-de-chine Buddha Buddhist Statue Guanyin Huge Altar Figure YqzAntique Chinese 14k Gold Mediterranean Salmon Red Coral Buddha Pendant NecklaceA Large Tibetan Bronze Figure Of VajrasattvaAuth. 19thc Chinese Carved White Jade Twin Cat Figures Pendant Carving Very Rare 18/19thc Chinese Famille Rose Peking Glass Imperial Guanyin Figure Japanese Antiques Iron Edo Jizai Okimono Samurai Armor Statues Tsuba Koshirae Antique Small 19th C Century Carved Carving Jade BuddhaAntique Chinese 19th Century Famille Rose Planter Figures & Calligraphy SignedA Large Tibetan Bronze Figure Of Padmasambhava With MandorlaA Large And Rare Tibetan Bronze Mandala With FiguresAntique Vintage Chinese Silver Enamel Carved Jade Buddha Bangle BraceletGreat Chinese Carved Lapis Lazuli Blue Stone Fu Lion Dog Figure W Wood StandFine Antique Chinese Carved Orange Agate Imperial Maiden FigureFine Chinese Carved Light Green Jade Stone Imperial Maiden Figure W StandLarge 19thc Chinese Tibetan Gold Gilt Bronze Standing Deity Buddha FigureVtg Chinese Export Hand Carved Malachite Wise Man W Cane Hardstone Sculpture LflVtg Chinese Export Carved Pink Rose Quartz 7" Kwan Yin W Foo Dog Sculpture LflOriental Islamic Cold Paint Bronze Figure Franz Bergman StyleFine Pair Antique Chinese Porcelain Foo Dog Figures 19th C. 10 In 25.4 CmFine Antique Chinese Porcelain Foo Dog Figure Turquoise Glaze 19th C. 12.25 InA Large Chinese Polychrome Wood Figure Of A BuddhaVery Old Antique Chinese Bronze Buddha Removed From A Temple In Malaya ConflictFine Antique Chinese Carved White Chalcedony Agate Stone Figure W StandVintage Japanese Netsuke Daruma StatueLarge Antique Chinese Export Lacquer Fan Evental Chinese Figures 19th Century Fine1900 Chinese Sterling Silver Dragon Figural Multi-spout Wine Decanter BottleA Tibetan Bronze Figure Of Green TaraAn Indian Bronze Figure Of ParvatiA Large Indian Figure Of Vishnu On StandAntique Chinese Export Lacquer Fan Evental Chinese Figures 19th Century Antique Chinese Silver Repousse Carved Turquoise Figural Brooch Pin Antique 19thc Chinese / Tibetan Gold Gilt Bronze Standing Buddha Deity FigureFine 19thc Chinese Qing Dynasty Carved Celadon Jade Scholar Immortal FigureAntique Chinese 19th Century Silver Inlaid Bronze Tortoise Figure