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    

Vintage Oriental Chinese Bone Figurine On Wooden Stand *45Chinese Qing Dynasty 1644-1912 Bronze Seated Buddha, Period. Interesting Large Lifesize Gandharan Style Terracotta Head - Info Welcome - RareAntique Chinese Porcelain Figure And Duck Calligraphy BowlGreat Pair Chinese Porcelain Hexagonal Jardinieres 19th C. Figures + Gilt4 Piece Lot Of Chinese Carved Jade Including Plaques Pins Statue EtcVery Finely Carved Bone Oriental Figure & Swirling Dragon - Signed - Chinese ?Very Decorative Chinese Bronze Figure - Character Symbols -possibly Ming DynastyVery Finely Carved Bone Oriental Lady Figure - Signed - Chinese - Japanese -rareNo Reserve Price | Antique 19th Century Sandstone Burmese BuddhaTwo Chinese Celadon Jade Carvings Statues Of Horse And BirdAncient Chinese Six Dynasties Northern Qi Soldier Figure - 550 AdNo Reserve Price | Large Burmese Buddha Statue From 18th CenturyJapanese Solid Sterling Silver Figural Pepperette / Salt Shaker Pagoda TempleLarge Japanese Bronze Statue Of Perched HawkLarge Lot Of Chinese Vases Bowls Statues Porcelain Bronze Wood EtcVery Decorative Large Gilt Bronze Or Brass Seated Buddha Figure - Seal Mark Genuine Early Chinese Bronze - Brass Buddha - Finest Quality Example - Very RareNice Chinese Jade Carving Of Two Figures Climbing On CitronTwo Chinese Jade Carvings Of A Horse And Standing Figure With ChildLot Of Three Old Chinese Japanese Bronze Iron Pottery StatuesAntique Chinese Warrior On A Foo Dog Roof Tile Figure Statue.No Reserve Price - 19th Century Burmese Mandalay Buddha Statue From BurmaThree Polychrome Enameled Porcelain Standing Fulushou Figures, Republic PeriodAntique Sino Tibetan Chinese Hand Painted Thangka W Buddha On Throne & DeitiesFine Chinese Carved Red Coral Man And Rat FigureLot Of Old Chinese Porcelain Including Vases And Bowl With FiguresAntique Chinese Hand Carved Detailed Bone Figure Of A Lady With Fan,circa 1880! Two Nice Chinese Jade Carvings Of Figure And Fruit Statue PendantsA Large Turquoise-glazed Pottery Figure Of Zhenwu Ming Dynasty.929=a Fine Large 33cm Stone Head Of Buddha Kushan P C 100 A.d Tibet Buddha Lama Buddhist Monastery Tibetan Monks Mountain Horn Trumpet YqzVery Large Antique Japanese Carved Bone Okimono Figure Very Rare - Chinese ? Extra Large Antique Japanese Carved Bone Okimono Figure Very Rare - Chinese ? Nice Chinese Carved Antique Sachet With Bats And FiguralGenuine Early Bronze Asian God Oil Burner - Incense Burner - Very Rare - L@@kJapanese Solid Sterling Silver Figural Pepperette / Salt Shaker Pagoda Temple19th C. Chinese Yixing Tea Jar With Famille Rose Figural & Floral DecorationsGenuine Very Old Bronze Figure - Possibly Chinese - Unusual Piece - Very RareBig Porcelain Famille Rose Statue Canton Star God Shou-xing Shoulao 2 Of 3 YqzVintage Oriental / Chinese Carved Soapstone Figurine Of LadyAntique Chinese Fuzhou Lacquer Carved Wood Lohan Statue / FigureLg Fine Antique 19c. Burmese Bronze Buddha In Dhyanasana On Double Lotus BaseLarge Fine Chinese Antique Carved Natural Jade Statue Of Happy BuhddaNo Reserve Price - Original Buddha Statue From Burma - Mid 20th Cent.Large Porcelain Famille Rose Statue Canton Star God Fu-xing Happiness 3 Of 3 YqzBig Porcelain Famille Rose Statue Canton Star God Lu-xing Good Fortune 1 Of3 YqzHuge Antique Chinese Famile Rose Enameled Porcelain Figure, 58cmLarge Lot Of Old Chinese Jade Stone Carvings Statues Bowls Birds EtcTwo 19th C Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Figures & Calligraphy Boxes And CoversVintage Chinese Carved Hardwood Carved Wood Plaque / Panel Art W/ Figures Layer Very Large Antique Chinese Ming Dynasty Glazed Terracotta Statue - 1450 Ad100% Natural The Beautiful Dushan Jade Pure Hand Carved Statue And Base7te Japanese Antique 2 Buddhist Seishi Bosatsu Statue Gold Gilt Lacquered WoodAntique Chinese Carved Boxwood Wood BuddhaPair Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Hardstone Paradise Fly Catcher Bird Sculpture Ancient Chinese White Jade Carved Figures Nephrite Pendant Zigang Mark Yw541Details About Chinese Dehua Porcelain Lianhua Kwan-yin Guanyin Ruyi Buddha LotuOriental Vintage 100% Natural Shoushan Stone Hand Carved Landscape Statue 581034Chinese 100% Natural Shoushan Stone Hand Carved Landscape Statue 581526