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    

V.rare 18/19c Chinese Carved Duan Stone Inkstone Imperial Figures Scenic Plaque Amazing Antique Chinese Apple Green White Jade Jadeite Crane Bird W Lotus FigureEx.rare Early Chinese Puddingstone Mythical Beast Fu Lion Figure Tang DynastyVery Rare Chinese Carved Natural Orange Coral 12 Rabbits Surrounding Fox FigureAn 18th Century Chinese Porcelain Yongzheng Period Bowl With FiguresVery Fine 16/17c Chinese Ming Dynasty Carved Jade Mythical Fu Lion Bixie FigureVeryfine Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Elephant W Figures Clouds Bats Silver StandImportant 12thc Khmer Angkor Period Carved Sandstone Buddha Vishnu Deity FigureSuperb Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Elephant Figure Scholars Water Pot BowlAntique Chinese Export Figural Enamel Ruby Jade Sapphire Silver Bracelet Rlm NrAmazing 18/19thc Chinese Carved Natural White Jade Elephant Figural PendantSplendid Chinese Jade Carved Animal Figure White And Black Jade19th Antique Saint St George On Horse Cow Bone Deep Carved Sculpture Chinese?Early Chinese Carved Sandstone Head Bust Buddha Deity Figure Ming Or EarlierAntique 19th Century Japanese Meiji Bronze Samurai & Oni Devil FigureAntique 19thc Chinese Carved Emerald Rock Crystal Fluorite Phoenix Bird FigureFine & Rare Qing Dynasty Carved Soapstone Figure Of Mother And Child A Large/beautiful Chinese 18c Famille Rose Figural Jar-yongzhengAntique Chinese Carved Emerald Green Jade Recumbent Water Buffalo Ox Figure MingNice Large Chinese Canton Famille Rose Jar With Cover, Figures, 19th Century.Very Fine Chinese Carved White Jade Qilin Dragon Figure Pendant Ming Qing DynastVeryfine Chinese Ming Qing Dynasty Carved Jade Mythical Fu Lion Dog Beast FigureQuality Large Wooden Chinese Figure 1960s Or Republic Very Beautiful Chinese Porcelain B/w Bowl & Cover Figures Xuande Marked.top!Early Antique Chinese Jade Mythical Archaic Bird Figure Pendant Song YuanTwo Nice Chinese Blue & White Kangxi Tea Bowls, Figures, Marked: Lingzhi.Three Antique Chinese Carved Soapstone Erotic Figure Groups 19th / Early 20th C.D4049 Stck Japanese Antique Marked Omori Mitsumoto Bronze Small Tiger StatueFine Old Chinese Celadon Glaze Porcelain Duck Large Figurine Sculpture SignedFine Antique Chinese Hand Deep Carved Roses Figural Scene Card Case Holder EtuiFine Rare Antique Chinese Daoist Kui Xing Guardian Deity Ming Bronze Figure 18th C Chinese Qianlong Porcelain Export Blue And White Figures TeapotFine Early 19th Century Antique Chinese Burr Wood Figure Of A SageAntique Chinese Ming Dynasty Carved Hardwood Seated Figure Of ManChinese Erotic Scene Famille Rose 18th C Coffee Cup Mandarin Figures #3Impressive 18thc Large 22.7cm/9" Chinese Antiques Famille Rose Bowl --figures!--Antique Chinese Ming Dynasty Terracotta Musician Drummer Statue Figure - 1368 AdJapanese Antique Buddhist Amida Nyorai Statue Gold Gilt Lacquered Wood Buddha NrJapanese Vtg Buddhist Amida Nyorai Buddha Standing Statue Wood Zushi Shrine NrSmall Antique Late 19thc Early 20th C White Jade Figure Of A Goose / Duck Fine Old Chinese Celadon Glaze Porcelain Duck Large Figurine Sculpture Signed BBeautiful Chinese Porcelain B/w Charger 18th C. Figures Interior Kangxi M&pA Large/beautiful Chinese Early 20c Famille Rose Buddha Statue-republicAntique Chinese Ming Dynasty Painted Pottery Musician Statue Figure - 1368 AdAntique Chinese Angel Skin White Natural Coral Pendants & Figure Boy Japanese Vtg Buddhist Amida Nyorai Buddha Sitting Statue Bronze Zushi Shrine Nr18th-19th C. Marked Chinese Modeled Dehua Figure Of Luohan19th-20th C. Chinese Bone Carved Beauty FigureChinese Bronze Seated Figure, Buddha, Lotus Base, Old Patina, 17th To 18th C.Chinese 18/19thc White Hetian Jade Crane Bird With Ruyi Lotus Figure PendantAntique Silver Bowl Indian Dancing Figures Deity’s Heavy 91 Gms Circa 1890Chinese Antique Porcelain BuddhaD4050 Ytck Japanese Antique Fine Marked Sekiro Bronze Small Tiger Statue OkimonoAn Antique Chinese Porcelain Repubic Period Large Laughing Buddha Statue W/ MarkAntique Japanese Meiji Period Bronze Sculpture Figure Snapping Turtle SignedPair Very Rare Chinese Carved Vibrant Yellow Jade Stone Phoenix Bird Figures2 Fine Small Antique 19c Qing Chinese Carved Soapstone Figures & InscriptionFine 19thc Chinese Qing Carved Celadon Jade Figural Pierced Plaque PendantAntique Chinese Finely Carved Carved Cow Bone Figure Of A Wood Cutter . 74gms.Unusual Chinese Song Ming Dynasty Red Black Jade Beast Figure Pendant