Antique Pair of Attendants with Offerings, China (16424BLE)


H: 7”  Dia: 2.875″ | FREE SHIPPING

This unique pair of attendants was likely placed on a home altar flanking and looking slightly inward to a Buddhist or Taoist figure or deity. Standing on circular pedestals, they smile slightly with eyes cast down presenting boxed offerings. They wear voluminous robes with flaring sleeves and upward curving bottoms that defy gravity and an officials high hats and boots.  It is very rare to find pairs of charming figurines in excellent condition such as these.


Buddhist and Taoist deities were often placed on a home altar accompanied by a pair of attendants, one  on each side, looking downward with modesty or inward with respect, and placed at an indirect angle while offering respect and obeisance to the deity they accompany. Taoist attendants often carried unique items representing offerings such as medicinal gourds/potions or pillboxes for medicine gods or baskets or sacks of  gold and silver blocks for wealth gods, or other precious gifts. One attendant here carries a box covered with cloth with ribbons on top and the other a thin tall rectangular box with a cover. When ribbons are  displayed wrapped around objects and impart importance to the power of the object they surround since they are perceived as rays or auras emanating from the object and symbolize miraculous powers. They also symbolize a wish for longevity. They wear officials attire and headwear which might be to emphasize their status. The images were probably painted with red polychrome and gilt, which remains on their faces, and then covered with a thick lacquer that naturally darkened over time plus the effects of smoke from incense and candle offerings. This pair is part of the VA Taoist-Art Collection.

Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 7” Dia: 2.875

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 17.78cm Dia: 7.3025cm


12 oz


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size