Antique Home Altar Queen Mother of the West, China (16035TSK)


H: 12.5”  W: 4.875”  D: 3.375” | FREE SHIPPING!

Finely carved from a dense hardwood, this the Queen Mother of the West image sits in a traditional pose on a backless throne with a large iconic phoenix on her hat and wearing in a graceful robe with two fingers of her right-hand holding a long sleeve that covers her left hand – common in Taoist deity images. It was brightly painted as seen by her red garments under a lacquered cover that naturally darkened over time from  incense and candle offerings.  Her carved facial features, including full cheeks and pursed lips depict a solemn authoritative matronly figure.



As a syncretic Taoist deity, the Queen Mother of the West has a huge cult following among Taoist, Buddhist and folk religion devotees revered for her powers to control life and death and to determine the life span of all living beings. Irvin calls her one of the Great Chinese Goddesses who are all imperially sanctioned and epitomize the feminine role of compassionate protectors who grant health, long life and safety to all regardless of their social position. Each has large temples, monasteries and small local shrines dedicated to them. Images like this carved by local artisans who depicted her as modest, humble and matronly with her iconic phoenix on her head to be placed on a home altar along with ancestral figures and other deities. This endearing statue as one of the major female Taoist Deities is in very good condition with expected paint and lacquer losses and scratches, a minor chip and old stabilized wormholes consistent with age and use.The rear cavity with its original sealed bung indicates it was consecrated  She is worshipped today in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and many overseas Chinese communities, and on her birthday, Taoists, especially women, perform rituals in temples and pray to her to grant them and their family good health and longevity. This carving is part of the VA Spiritual-and-Inspirational Collection of Deities-and-Legends

Click here for the Blog Consecrating Wooden Images to Imbue Them with A Life Force

Click here for the Blog The Queen Mother of the West Xiwangmu: Taoism’s Iconic Female Sovereign of Immortals 

Lee Irwin, “Divinity and Salvation: The Great Goddesses of China,” in Asian Folklore Studies, Indiana University, Vol. 49, 1990, pp 53-68.

Additional information

Weight 6 lbs
Dimensions 14 × 10 × 6 in

18-19th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 12.5” W: 4.875” D: 3.375”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 31.75cm W: 12.06cm D: 8.57cm


2lb 6oz


Very good, signs of age and wear consistent with age, no restorations/repairs (see description)

Place of Origin


Reference Number

16035 -TSK