Antique Ancestor with Removable Head, China (5623LKE) $785


H: 10.25”  W: 5.125”  D: 4” | FREE SHIPPING!

This very finely carved figure of an ancestor was commissioned by a family of either high status or wealth, having been carved from a single piece of an exquisite and rare hardwood with a lustrous patina. The removable head, which is fairly unique, is individualized with a round face, bald head, and oversized ears and markings to delineate his advanced age, a respected characteristic in 19th-century Chinese society. There is no indication of his status, however, as his robes are simple and he wears no hat indicating that he is not an official. He sat on a detached chair which is now missing and we are in the process of having one made for it . The exquisite carving in beautiful dense wood and patina make this a wonderful and distinctive piece in excellent condition with cracks and minor surface losses consistent with age and use.


Over the centuries, worship of Buddhist and Taoist deities, ancestor figures, official imperial images, and “popular gods” has been an intricate part of the fabric of Chinese life. This image was not placed on a home altar as it was not consecrated. The intricacy, fineness, selection of materials, and overall quality of the images was a reflection of the wealth, status, geographic location and piety of the individuals for which the carvings were lovingly fashioned. This image is an extremely fine example of an ancestor figure carved from a dense hardwood, and thus rather rare.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18th century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 10.25” W: 5.125” D: 4”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 26.03cm W: 13.02cm D: 10.16cm


1 lb 12oz


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use

Item Number


Shipping Box Size