Antique Carved Official or Ancestor in Red Robe, China (18017ESK)
H: 8.25″ W: 3″ D: 2.125″
Dressed in a red robe with a high neck collar, extremely wide sleeves extending below the knees and a belt around his waist, this ancestor figure portrayed as a civilian official standing on a rectangular base with hands together wearing a long civil official’s robe that extends to his shoes but has no rank badge indicated.
Ancestor-figures portrayed as Chinese-officials were placed on a home altar with other house-gods and Buddhist or Popular Religion images to bring fu to the household. During the Qing dynasty, designation as an official was so significant families sought to emphasize this achievement in their family ancestral figures. They normally have serious expressions and wear colorful officials-attire, often red symbolizing fu and the Five Blessings or Happinesses. Ancestor-worship was a cornerstone of Confucianism, Taoism and Popular Religion and an ancestor figure was the highest form of filial piety. Headwear played an important practical and symbolic function in dynastic China indicating the high status of civil officials. Chinese headwear has such a long history and variety of styles, shapes, colors and accompanying ornaments, some academics call China “the Kingdom of Headwear.” Chinese hats are so varied, it makes identifications of wood-carved subjects very difficult, especially for ancestors who were often provided accoutrements of a status they did not have when alive. Cylindrical hats with a low front and higher back like this where commonly worn by military persons, and a variant called jieze were also used by both civil servants and commoners. Here, the front of this hat on this antique-Chinese-wood-carving has a scalloped decorative design that gradually rises to the center. The piece is in very good condition with much of its original pigmentation and lacquer finish and minor cracks and lacquer losses.
|Dimensions||12 × 9 × 6 in|
|Place of Origin||
Antique, Qing Dynasty
|Materials and Technique||
Wood, polychrome, lacquer
Ht: 8.25” W: 3” W: 2.125”
Ht: 31.75cm W: 12.7cm D: 5.57cm
Very good, minor cracks, lacquer losses.
|Shipping Box Size|
6” to 11.9”