Antique Official in Red Robes with a Hu Tablet, China (16851BOK)
H: 15.5: W: 6.125″ D: 4.125″
This fine ancestor figure portrayed as a Chinese official with many indications of his high status. He sits on a backless chair upon a high decorative pedestal upon which his feet rest and . He wears officials attire: a futou cap; high collared red robe with double belt that extends to the top of his shoes. He sits in a formal pose with hands on his thighs, the right holding a long slender curved hu tablet. The holes above his lip and on his chin with short hairs indicate a mustache and beard, now partially lost, on his gilt colored face.
Ancestor-figures portrayed as Chinese-officials were placed on a home altar with other house gods and religious 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. As traditional, this antique-Chinese-wood-carving official has a serious expression, sits on a backless chair on a high decorative pedestal upon which his feet in black shoes rest and wears officials-attire, a high collared red robe extending to the top of his shoes, hands formally on his thighs with the right holding a long slender curved hu-tablet almost reaching his shoulder, and a double belt above and below his ample stomach – all signs of his office and status. Headwear indicated the high rank of civil officials. The somber black cloth futuo (meaning ‘black gauze cap’) worn by Ming officials was still depicted in Qing images when it gradually became a more fitted, structured cap. The holes above his lip and on his chin with short hairs indicate his moustache and beard, now partially lost, and the entire face is gilt. Gilt and red pigmentation signify fu and the Five Blessings or Happinesses and reinforce his high status. Ancestor-worship was a cornerstone of Confucianism and an ancestral figure was the highest form of filial piety. Most ancestral pieces were lost or deteriorated during China’s modernization, and most that survived, like this, have expected worn surfaces, cracks, paint and lacquer losses, and old damage from wood pests. Although the left “wing” on base is missing and the right one is reattached, it remains a great piece in very good condition with much of its painted and gilt surface remaining. The sealed bung over the back cavity indicates it was consecrated.
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|Dimensions||18 × 12 × 6 in|
|Place of Origin||
Antique, Qing Dynasty
|Materials and Technique||
Wood, polychrome, lacquer
Ht: 15.5” W 6.125” D: 4.125”
Ht: 39.37cm W: 15.56cm D: 10.48cm
Very good, has restorations/repairs (see description)
12” to 17.9”
6” to 11.9”
|Shipping Box Size|