Antique Buddha as an Infant, China (16488BKE)



This woodcarving of the Buddha as an infant is remarkable because of the way it has survived. As with many Chinese wood carvings there extensive deteriorated from age/insect damage. While there is total loss to the arms, legs and torso, it is virtually untouched from the neck up.  This is a piece for lovers of wood, with the the body worn to a delicately smooth but irregular surface. It is probably more striking than original piece, as its erosion shows the random miracle of chance.  





According to Buddhist scriptures the conception and birth of the Shakyamuni-Buddha were miraculous. Immediately after birth, he walked in seven directions, one hand pointing to heavens, the other to earth symbolizing his supremacy over all realms. The Infant-Buddha is depicted as baby but with fully formed mature features standing with legs firmly planted on the ground or on a lotus base. Although here he is represented as an infant with soft features, baby fat in his cheeks, and a wisp of hair on his head to represent his infancy and associate him with youthful monks, in this traditional Buddha-Statue, his face reflects the adult Buddha with almond eyes and pendulous ears mature beyond his years. What is remarkable about this antique-Chinese-carving is how it survived over time. The arms, legs and torso have deteriorated from age/insect damage while it is virtually untouched from the neck up. Traces of red and black remain, the three rings on his neck have partially survived, and the rest of the body has worn to a delicately smooth but irregular surface. Small carved antique Mahayana Buddhist-Statues of the Infant-Buddha are very rare as they were infrequently displayed on a home altar, although given its size, this one might have been.The day of his birth takes place on a full moon and is celebrated as Fódàn in China in Mahayana Buddhism or Vesak in Southeast Asia in Theravada Buddhism which commemorates the triple event of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. This is part of VA Spiritual-and-Inspirational Collection of Buddhist-Art.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 17” W: 5” D: 5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 43.18cm W: 12.7cm D: 12.7cm


4lbs 5oz


Good to fair, see description

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size