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 Early Chinese Ming Dynasty Gold Gilt Bronze Buddha Figure W StandChinese Antique Carved Coral Statue On Wood StandFine Chinese Carved Soapstone Figure Of Ladies 19thcAntique Chinese 16th C Ming Lacquered Iron Standing Figure Of Ananda BuddhaChinese Ming Bronze Figure Of Buddha Kuan Yin 16th/17thcPair V.rare Chinese Early Ming Dynasty Bronze Buddha Figures On Fu Lion ElephantRare & Fine Antique Islamic Orientalist Austrian Bergman Bronze Large Figure Collection Of 10 Unusual Bronze Bells - Elephant God Designs - Ganesh - RareRare Antique Carved Bamboo Chinese Statue Of A Mythical Creature And It's Young.Estate Lot Two Antique Chinese Gilt Bronze Buddha FiguresAncient Chinese Six Dynasties Northern Qi Soldier Figure - 550 AdNice Large Chinese Porcelain Tureen With Cover, 19th Ct! Figures & Poems!Large Antique 19th C Chinese Or Indian Carved Bone Figure Of An Elephant 326gVery Interesting Chinese Gilt Bronze Double Headed Figure Seal - Rare - L@@kRare Chinese Ming Dynasty Aubergine Turquoise Glazed Imperial Emperor FigureVintage Japanese Pure Silver Daruma Buddhist Statue Marked Pure Silver Okimono(2) Vintage Victorian Griffin Type Lion Oriental Foo Dog Sculpture Mantle StatueUnusual Set 3x Chinese Porcelain B/w Bowls 18th C. Kangxi FiguresAntique Chinese 18/19thc. Ho Ho Boy Famille Rose FigureFine Pair Of Marked Japanese Kutani Vases With Figures In A Landscape 19thcAntique Signed Chinese Ming Dynasty Bronze Dragon Figural Censer BowlFine Chinese Carved Rose Quartz Imperial Maiden Figure With Floral Landscape Antique Hand Painted Chinese Tea Bowl & Saucer Figural 4 Character Mark No ResAntiuqe Chinese Root Wood Carved Figure Of Cao Guojiu, 19th Century Antique 19thc Chinese Tibetan Qing Dynasty Gold Gilt Bronze Buddha Figure Antique 1920s Tiffany Studios Ny #1025 Bronze Buddha Bookends Signed NumberedChinese Export Silver Goblet Figures At Meal Wang Hing Large Vintage Chinese Porcelain Laughing Happy Buddha SignedNice Chinese Encre De Chine Cup & Saucer, 18th Ct Yongzheng Period , Figure!Very Fine Chinese Orange White Chalcedony Carnelian Agate Imperial Figure BirdPair Fine Chinese Carved Jade Phoenix Bird Figures On Branch Perch1800's Meiji Wood Carved Buddha Buddhist Export Daruma Figure Zen Patriarch YqzChinese Bronze Statue Figures Buddha - Ming Dynasty - 15-16th CChinese Qing Dynasty Antique Blanc De Chine White Porcelain Buddha Marked Lc345Three Polychrome Enameled Porcelain Standing Fulushou Figures, Republic PeriodAnglo Indian Faux Bone, Cow Bone Ten Head Ravanna FigureVery Rare 17c Chinese Ming Dynasty Imperial Palace Buddha Figure Wall Plaques Very Interesting Early Bronze Figure - Asian God - Info Welcome - Extremely RareAntique Chinese Porcelain Happy Buddha Hotei San Late 19th Century Seal To BaseEstate Coll Chinese Carved Jade Jadeite Orange Yellow Ruby Stone Bird Figures Chinese Antique Ming Bronze Buddha Guanyin HeavyChinese Kangxi Period Famille Rose Guanyin FigureChinese Antique 19c Qing Blanc De Chine Figure He Chaozong Signed Mt768Large Chinese Carved White Emerald Green Jade Jadeite Bird Scenic Carved Figure19th Century Tongzhi Period Chinese Figure Covered JarNice Chinese Encre De Chine Cup & Saucer, 18th Ct Yongzheng Period , Figure!Fine Antique Japanese Meiji Satsuma Koro Censer Figural Pierced LidAntiue Chinese Silver Figural Enamel Necklace Vtg Chinese Export Lapis Lazuli Raised Trunk Up Elephant Animal Sculpture Mrp Vtg Chinese Export Hand Carved Malachite Foo Dragon Lion Dog Group Sculpture MrpB) Chinese Sandalwood Panel Well Carved With 4 Figures & Landscape Scene E20thcDelicate Chinese Old Iron Buddha Statue Marked Lc342Large Chinese Antique 18th C Bronze Guanyin Buddha Statue Marked Qianlong Yw686 Rare Old Collectible Decoration Amber Inlay Exorcism Scorpion & Leaf StatueAntique Chinese Bronze Figural Mythical Beast Calligraphy Seal Unusual Vintage Japanese Daruma Figure Carved Wood Okimono Sculpture CarvingLarge 19thc Chinese Tibetan Sterling Silver & Copper Buddha Shrine Wall Plaque Rare Old Purple Clay Carving Myhth 8 Immortal Play Chess On Boat Elegant StatueInteresting Antique Chinese Gold Gilt Bronze Beast Figure Scroll WeightVtg Chinese Export Lapis Lazuli Hand Carved Bodhidharma Buddha Sculpture Mrp Nr