Antique Rare Large Lohan with Hands in Reverence, China (16436A-WHKE)


H: 28.25  W: 12.75”  D: 9.75” | CALL/EMAIL FOR SHIPPING QUOTE

This beautifully crafted rare 17-18th century Ming/Qing large Lohan is from the same Buddhist site as the foreign-born heavy bearded Lohan (Bodhidharma), and the same artist may have carved both. He sits on a high backless throne in monks attire: robes with a cowl over his shoulders tied under his chin, extended belt, material draped between his legs, and wavelike creases at the arms, elbows, knees, shoulders, and legs with monk’s red slippers.  He is portrayed as a real person with very individual, distinctive, and un-idealized features. His large and wide forehead sets off the hood that lies flat on his shaved head. His benevolent youthful face sweetly smiling face with downcast eyes is an image of compassion, wisdom and peace.


Early Chinese Mahayana statues portrayed Lohans as followers of the Buddha, living in the human world in human forms. Their depiction changed in the 16th century to absorb traits of Taoist immortals: sages with magical powers, perfect knowledge of all things including the nature and the secrets of immortality who could elicit perfection in others. Legends about them continually evolved and portrayals of them differ among dynasties and regions. All Lohans as monks have identifiable characteristics: pendulous ears, the sign of spiritual superiority and coming Buddhahood and Enlightenment and their identification as Taoist sages; shaved heads reflecting their detachment from worldly pleasures and renunciation of mundane desires; and traditional robes from with long sleeves covering the hands and knees draped over the left shoulder and fastened with a prominent circular pin. It is almost impossible to identify specific Lohans since they weren’t generally portrayed with identifiable features, emblems, attributes or poses and often identifying attributes were lost or replaced over time. Unlike all other enlightened beings who are idealized and adhere to defined Buddhist tenets, Lohans are depicted in naturalistic form, often as portraits with individual features and personality traits rendered in great detail and realism. During the Ming and Qing dynasties these statues tended to reflect local practices and physical and cultural characteristics in daily Chinese lives and some, like this reflected the syncretic blending of Buddhism, Taoism, Popular Religion traditions and Chinese legends as well as a shift from religious to a secular orientation. This statue from Xian in Northern China was consecrated as seen by the back cavity in the back.  Extremely rare, this image should be displayed as it originally was with its paired carving.

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

Additional information


17-18th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 28.25” W: 12.75” D: 9.75”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 71.75cm W: 32.38cm D: 24.76cm


Excellent, age approrpriate signs of wear

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size