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]

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    

Important Chinese Imperial Xuande Signed Ming Dynasty Gilt Bronze Buddha FigureImpressive Large Chinese Lacquered Bronze Buddha Figure Ming To Qing DynastyImpressive Chinese 15/16thc Ming Dynasty Immortal Warrior Emperor FigureVery Rare 18/19thc Chinese Aubergine Glazed Figural Handle Lidded Hu Vases JarsFine & Rare Chinese Ming Dynasty Bronze Guanyin With Buddhist Elephant FigureA Rare Inscribed Chinese Bronze Figure Of A Seated Deity, Ming DynastyImportant 10thc Chinese Cambodian Sandstone Buddha Diety Torso FigureA Superb Chinese Bronze Figure Of A Seated Bodhisattva, Ming DynastyPair Fine 19thc Chinese Blue White Imperial Figures Moon Flask Vases Kangxi Mk Very Rare Chinese Early Ming Dynasty Guanyin Sitting On Buddhist Lion FigureRare Old Antique Chinese Carved Quartz Buddha On Hardwood Base Jade InterestSupurb Antique Stag Bone Japanese Netsuke Of Warrior Figure On Table.A Large Chinese Tibet Gilt Bronze Buddha Statue Qing DynastyNo Reserve Antique Chinese Qing Dynasty Large Jade Duck Statue Christies 1993Estate Lot Chinese Bronze Buddha Tibetan Bell Mirrors Censer Buffalo FiguresFine Chinese Carved Spinach Jade Pierced Dragon Figural Wall Plaque Silver FrameChinese Carved Antique Coral Statue Woman With Birds 252 Gram 23 CmA Beautiful Antique Chinese Export Silver Enamel Deer Statue Jade Relic RepublicEstate Lot Chinese Jade Agate Green Fluorite Stone Buddha Bird Wine Set BowlsA Chinese Tibet Gilt Bronze Buddha Statue Ming Or Qing DynastyFine Pair 19th C Japanese Satsuma Warriors & Geisha Figures Vases - SignedFine Large 22" 19th C Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Figure And Child - MarkedA Large Asian Bronze Figure Of A Seated Buddha, Probably 19th/20th CenturyEarly Chinese Or Tibetan Bronze Sitting Meditating Buddha Figure Ming DynastyA Chinese Tibet Gilt Bronze Buddha Qing DynastyVintage Chinese /japanese Bovine Female Carved Figure 23cmsLarge 18/19thc Chinese Tibetan Indian Bronze Sitting Buddha FigureLarge & Fantastic Antique 19th Century Chinese Enamelled Figures Porcelain BowlVery Fine Chinese Ming Dynasty Bronze Immortal Scholar Figure Wave BaseJapanese Meiji Carved Miniature Cat & Mouse Figural Group SignedA Large Chinese Jadeite Figure Of Guanyin 19th/20th CenturyAntique Japanese Meiji Kobe Wooden Toy Figure C1900Vintage Chinese Carved Jade Hardstone Standing FigureGreat Large 19thc Chinese Famille Rose Imperial Emperor Scholar Figure SignedVery Fine Pair 19thc Chinese Famille Verte Enamel Figural Scenic Plates KangxiEstate Lot 3 Great Chinese Carved Hardwood Immortal Scholar Lohan FiguresLarge Antique 20thc Chinese Terracotta Red Foo Dragon Jardiniere Planter Pot NrEarly 19thc Chinese Porcelain Famille Rose Figures Vases Wall PocketsChinese Fuzhou Foochow Lacquer Wood Shou Lao Figure C1900Fine 19th Century Antique Burmese Buddha On Carved Wooden StandUnusual Large Late 19th C Japanese Satsuma Figures In A Boat ModelAntique Japanese Carved Netsuke Mask Of Ryojin, Thunder God, Signed Deme, 19th CEstate Lot Japanese Bronze Buddha Cranes Imari Satsuma Bowls Vases Dishes Great 19c Chinese Famille Verte Enamel Figural Puzzle Wine Ewer Teapot Kangxi MkChinese Dehua Porcelain Figure Of GuanyinJapanese Antique C1600 Edo Signed Buddhist Amida Nyorai Standing Buddha Statue Great Large 19thc Chinese Famille Rose Lohan Immortal Scholar FigureJapanese Meiji Carved Netsuke Cats Playing Figural Group SignedEarly Chinese Ming Dynasty Gold Gilt Bronze Immortal Scholar Star God Figure18th/19th C. Chinese A Junyao Figure Of QilinFine Small 19th C Japanese Satsuma Figures Teapot - SignedFine Vintage Antique Japanese Satsuma Figure Of Kannon /guanyinAntique Chinese Qing Dynasty Famille Rose Buddha Porcelain BrushpotVery Fine Quality Carved Green Stone Buddha - Jade Interest - Very Rare - L@@kAmazing Chinese Fan Figures Mother-of-pearl 19th CenturyJapanese Meiji Carved Netsuke Cat Sleeping Figural SignedJapanese Antique Gigaku Buddhist Statue Noh Mask Edo Temple Gold Foil Leaves Antique Pair Japanese Satsuma Vases With Figures, Immortals & Warriors Meiji?Antique Chinese 19th Century Silk Embriodered Sleeve Panel X2 With FiguresA Beautiful Antique Chinese Porcelain Blue Guanyin Figure Rare !