Antique Kitchen God and His Wife, China (19028LAK) $995


H: 10”  W: 7.75”  D: 8.25” | FREE SHIPPING

This single statue portrays the Kitchen God and his Wife on one stand which is rare and indicates their close and lasting relationship as the protectors of the home and family. The Kitchen God and his wife were placed above the stove, a central part of the household to view and report about the morality of the family members to the Jade emperor at Chinese New Year and ahve their fate determined for the coming year. His serene face has an uncharacteristic smile  Their bright colors have faded naturally into a smooth warm patina which adds comfort and positive feng sui to any kitchen decor.




The Kitchen-God (Zao Shen) was and still is among the most important Chinese house-gods. Traditionally every family had its own Kitchen God with or without his wife above the stove to reflect the central position of the stove in the family’s life. The Kitchen God is both a syncretic and a tutelary deity that is embraced by followers of Popular Religion, Taoism and Buddhism and a protector of the home and inhabitants who observes the family’s behavior and morality. Depending on the family’s financial resources,  Kitchen God images are depicted in paintings, drawings, paper cuts, wood plaques, and, less frequently, carved wood statues. Before Chinese New Year, the family sends the Kitchen God (without his wife who stays home to tend to things) up to the heavens to report to the Jade Emperor about the family’s activities during the year by burning paper images of him. A dab of honey is rubbed on the lips of carved and paper images to assure he has sweet things to tell the Jade Emperor. We have seen very few image of him and his wife as here as a single image which indicates their close and lasting relationship as the protectors of the home and family.Their intricately detailed elaborate officials’ robes and different hats indicate their status as  high officials. Unlike our other pairs, these figures are individually portrayed; they closely resemble but do not mirror each other. His serene expressive face has an uncharacteristic smile and is highlighted with facial hairs. In this rare antique-Chinese-wood-carving each holds a carved hu-tablet similar to ones held by high Chinese court officials or Taoist priests. These charming figures with a smooth warm patina are in excellent condition. Each has a closed cavity with original bung containing scripts placed there by a monk, indicating it was consecrated.  The carving should have adequate space to place offerings such as a bowl of fruit, three small teacups with tea, and a vessel with three incense sticks. Family members burn the incense while bowing three times, after which the family consumes the offerings. This carving was covered in red, (the color of fu), gilt and lacquer which has darkened naturally over time and from exposure to incense smoke. While there has been renewed interest in antique Kitchen Gods, they are now very difficult to find, especially as a matched pair and as a single image. The are in excellent condition despite the slight ding on the front platform. They make a unique and wonderful wedding or housewarming gifts or just to add positive chi and feng shui to any household. This pair is part of the VA Deities-and-Legends Collection.

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Additional information

Weight 9 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 12 × 9 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


19th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 10” W: 7.75” D: 8.25”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 25.4 cm W: 19.685 cm D: 20.955 cm


2 lbs 12oz


Excellent, See Descripton

Reference Number