Antique Queen Mother of the West, China (16142BCK)
H: 11.25” W: 4.625” D: 3.25” | FREE SHIPPING!
This provincial carving is the Queen Mother of the West, the most powerful female Taoist deity who is associated with all aspects of the female force (yin) : metal (one of the Five Elements), autumn, and the west. This small but well carved dense hardwood image made for private devotion on a home altar finely portrays her as a modest matronly figure holding her robe across her body creating deeply cut fold patterns seated on a red backless throne and wearing a large and well carved iconic phoenix in her headdress.
The Queen-Mother of the West (Xiwangmu) is the most significant of the female Taoist-deities, viewed as a magical deity who controls controls life and death and creation and destruction and determines the lifespan of every living being. She lives with husband the Jade Emperor in Kunlun Mountain where she attends her famous garden containing the peaches of immortality. Lee Irvin identifies her as one of the Great Chinese Goddesses who epitomizes the feminine role of compassionate protector and grants health, long life and safety to all regardless of their social position. As a syncretic goddess, she has a huge cult following among Taoist, Popular Religion and even Buddhist devotees. As her popularity grew, especially in the Ming and Qing dynasties, she assumed great power in local cultures where she became a folk deity and patron goddess of women as a divine teacher focused on the cultivation of virtue. Local artisans made small provincial statues for use on a home altar that did not follow iconographic traditions and created modest and unadorned images of her as a humble and matronly in modest clothes with a small phoenix on her headdress. On her birthday, Taoists, especially women, perform rituals and pray for her to grant them and their family good health and longevity.The carving is in very good condition and was originally painted in polychrome and lacquer finish, much of which remains, although the base may have a stucco restoration. The original bung remains indicating it was consecrated in an eye-opening ceremony. This carving is part of the VA Spiritual-and-Inspirational Collection of Deities-and-Legends.
Lee Irwin, “Divinity and Salvation: The Great Goddesses of China,” in Asian Folklore Studies, Indiana University, Vol. 49, 1990, pp 53-68.
|Dimensions||12 × 9 × 6 in|
|Place of Origin||
Antique, Qing Dynasty
|Materials and Technique||
Wood, polychrome, lacquer
Ht: 11.25” W: 4.625" D: 3.25”
Ht: 28.57cm W: 11.74cm D: 8.25cm
1 lb 8oz
Very good, has restorations/repairs (see description)