Antique Attendant to Guandi, Taoist God of War, China (16022LSE)


H: 16.25:  W: 5.875”  D: 3.5” | CALL/EMAIL FOR SHIPPING QUOTE

This fine woodcarving is Chou Ts’ang, the aide-de-camp and attendant to Guandi, the most revered and well-known military hero in Chinese history and the Taoist God of War.  As an attendant his hands held together and eyes down cast in respect and legs firmly planted on the ground. His protective military clothing and heavy boots presented in detail and the high red and black pedestal with painted gold florals make him a key figure even though the figure of Guandi he attends would have been much larger and important.


Guandi lived during the latter Han Dynasty circa and is the best known and most revered military and historical hero in China. He was canonized in 1504 as Guan Di, the Taoist God of War and Protector of China. According to Keith Stevens, he is “all things to all men, not only prayed to for protection and prosperity but also to solve all problems: personal, domestic, national, and universal.” Chou-Tsang is the bearer of Guandi’s sword and often appears in a triad with Guandi and his adopted son Kwan P’ing. Many paintings portray a duo with Chou-Tsang behind. Portrayed with either black or dark skin tones and dressed in a lacquer gilt uniform or wearing maille, Chou-Tsang here is portrayed as an antique-Chinese-wood-carving with his hands up and palms together paying respect in anjali mudra while facing Guandi. On a home altar or a temple shrine the attendant Chou-Tsang is normally placed to Guandi’s left with eyes downcast in respect to the general and either his left foot forward ready to spring into action or his legs firmly planted on the ground. With expected minor chips, cracks, wear and paint losses, it is in very good condition although material is missing from left sleeve. This image is part of the VA Deities-and-Legends Collection.


Keith Stevens, Chinese Gods: The Unseen World of Spirits and Demons, London, Collins and Brown Ltd, 1997.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 16.25” W: 5.875” D: 3.5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 41.27cm W: 14.92cm D: 8.89cm


2 lbs 5 oz


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size