Antique Queen Mother of the West on Horse with Elixir Bowl, China (16297BLEM)
H: 22″ W: 8.25″ D:10″ | CALL FOR SHIPPING QUOTE
Given its size and quality, this rare and exquisite Queen Mother of the West probably was placed in a local temple or village/family clan setting. She has the delicate features of a mature woman with a round face, radiant smile, full cheeks, and a small chin all highlighted with gilt. Her black hair surmounts her pendulous ears in a chignon under her glorious headdress centered by a striking phoenix. Her sumptuous adornments include a finely carved highly decorative net-like shoulder garment covering a long-sleeved robe covering her shoes, long earrings, and a necklace below a gilt collar. She holds the elixir of immortality.
The syncretic Queen-Mother of the West is revered as the most significant of the female Taoist-deities with a large Buddhist and Popular Religion following who was the first female deity represented in Chinese art. Her immeasurable powers include her complete control over life and creation as well as death and destruction. She can grant immortality, is the patron deity of women, a divine teacher who controls the length of lives, and is closely associated with the cultivation of virtue. Wearing magnificent headdress centered by her iconic striking phoenix over her pendulous ears, she holds a cup containing the elixir of immortality which grants eternal life with her graceful fingers in a variation of the karana mudra, the most important Taoist mudra used by priests and masters to cleanse and purify and emanate energy to rid obstacles and unwanted energy. As with several of our pieces she seated on an elegant regal horse with a bell hanging from a strap on his chest, head turned with pointed ears expressing its alertness and long tail draped around its left leg. Although we haven’t found documentation about her direct association with horses, The Book of Changes states that the horse represents heaven, a king, a father, and a well-educated man of honor in traditional Chinese culture. Dr. Thomas Ritter notes that the frequent presence of horses in Taoist images symbolizes man’s harmony with and the elegance of nature. “ [in] Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching…the dressage artist rides and trains in harmony with Nature [and is] at one with the Tao [and nature] which gives his horses and his work radiance and expressiveness,” which is clearly reflected here. Lee Irvin calls her one of the Great Chinese Goddesses who are imperially sanctioned and epitomize the feminine role of compassionate protectors who grant health, long life and safety to all regardless of their social position. Carved from a single piece of dense wood, a lacquer coat was applied over polychrome hues and gilt visible at the collar, ears and forehead. The back cavity is sealed with its bung encasing its contents indicates it was consecrated. This carving is part of the VA Spiritual-and-Inspirational Collection of Deities-and-Legends.
Click here for the Blog Queen Mother of the West Xiwangmu : Taoism’s Iconic Female Sovereign of Immortals
Click here for Eye-Opening Consecration Ceremony Blog.
Dr. Thomas Ritter, The Tao of Horsemanship – Chapter One –artistic dressage.com
|Place of Origin||
Antique, Qing Dynasty
|Materials and Technique||
Wood, polychrome, lacquer
Ht: 22” W: 8.25” D: 10”
Ht: 55.88cm W: 20.95cm D: 25.4cm
Excellent, See Descripton
|Shipping Box Size|