Antique Carved Wood Taoist Priest, China (16157ERK) $350


H: 9.25”  W: 4.5”  D: 3.25” | FREE SHIPPING

This well carved image probably is a Taoist official that was placed on a home altar along with other religious and ancestral carvings to summon good wishes and energy and ward off malevolent forces. His high status and importance as a Taoist official are affirmed by his static pose, solemn face, official’s robes and refined hat and the red and gilt pigmentation covering the front and back.


Taoist images were represented as scholars, sages, heroes, officials and priests. Taken out of context, it is almost impossible to specifically identify individual images but given certain features and symbols: air of solemnity and importance, static pose, officials attire with round collar, and elaborate hat, this is is probably a Taoist official. Seated on a backless chair, he is painted on front and back with red and gilt and lacquer as he grasps his hands together at his chest under a ritual cloth symbolically holding a hu-tablet which is also  associated with Taoist officials. It was probably on a home altar as a wish to ward off malevolent spirits and bad luck along with other house gods, ancestor figures, and religious images as part of the ancestor worship practiced in the home. Taoist priests and officials were responsible for protecting people against evil spirits in this life while Buddhist monks were responsible for looking after souls in the next life.  This carving was consecrated and has its original bung sealing the back cavity.

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

Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18th-19th Century

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 9.25” W: 4.5” D: 3.25”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 23.49cm W: 11.43cm D: 8.25cm

Materials and Technique



Excellent, age appropriate signs of wear

Item Number



1lb 7 oz