Antique/Vintage Kitchen God and His Wife, China (16850BME)


H: 8.25″  W: 3.125″  D: 2.25″

This Kitchen God and his Wife is posed as streamlined virtual mirror-images and fashioned with a general quality relying on paint rather than deep carving for details. They sit on backless chairs on a plinth, with simplified gold officials’ robes with long color sashes, and well-carved black and gilt head gear. The wife’s face is smooth, generalized and the male face has a more deeply carved surface and painted highlights.



While most families have had prints or paper-cuts of the Kitchen God with or without his wife above their stove, carved wood images with a lacquer coating tended to be owned by wealthier families. The Kitchen God displays syncretism at its highest as a Taoist, Popular Religion and Buddhist tutelary deity, beloved house-gods who protect the home and its inhabitants observes the family’s behavior and morality, and on Chinese New Year ascends to the heavens to report on them to the Jade Emperor. With a favorable report, the Jade Emperor’s blessings bring good fortune and continued life, while a poor report results in misfortune to family members.  They are indicated by their distinct poses, dress, attributes and red coloring that symbolizes bringing and fu into the home. Each antique-Chinese-wood-carving of this pair has an indentation to symbolizing holding a hu-tablet. Kitchen God carvings are a wonderful addition to any home, as they radiate warmth and are in their original element as important and warm historical protectors when they are placed in the central part of the house above or near the kitchen stove. In recent years there has been an interest in antique Kitchen Gods, but they are difficult to find, especially a matched pair. They are in very good condition with most original red, black, gold, and lacquer extant with expected paint losses and were repainted, a common tradition in Taoist and Buddhist images. The base has minor chips and paint and lacquer losses showing the deep red color originally used which has  darkened the over time. They make unique and wonderful wedding gifts and housewarming gifts or just to add positive chi to any household. Both have closed cavities and their original bung indicating they were consecrated. This pair is part of the VA Deities-and-Legends Collection.

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



Additional information

Weight 4 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


19-20th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 8.25” W: 3.125” D: 2.25”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 20.95cm W: 7.94cm D: 5.71cm


Very good, see description


1 lb 3oz

Reference Number

16850 BME

Shipping Box Size