Antique Porcelain Famille Rose Laughing Buddha, China (17038LMK) $850


H: 10.25”  W: 9.5”  D: 4.5” | FREE SHIPPING

Known as the Laughing, Happy, or Fat Buddha, Budai is regarded as a deity of contentment and plenty. Like most Early Chinese Republic porcelains this piece is hand decorated in famille rose enamels with vivid blue, red, and green pigments portrayed as a stout, smiling, bald monk in robes with a large, exposed pot belly surrounded by five children. Since the stomach is considered the seat of the soul in Chinese beliefs, it demonstrates his open heartedness. His wide smile attracts the children surrounding his body indicating his regard for them and his joy when they encircle him and well as the belief he can bequeath families with children.


Known as Budai in China and Hotei in Japan, Budai is one of the most famous Mahayana deities, called Mi Lo Fo, the Loving or Friendly One. Known as the Laughing, Happy, or Fat Buddha in the West, he is a symbol of contentment, happiness, good luck, and plenitude. With a loving character and benevolent nature, he is considered by many to be an incarnation of Maitreya the Buddha of the Future. His name Budai meaning cloth bag was from the Tang Dynasty monk who carried a large hemp bag symbolizing abundance and contentment. An eccentric, jolly and happy monk with no home or temple, he wandered widely to beg for food, forecasted people’s fortunes, and gave aid to those he encountered. He attracted people with his kindness and entertained children who were naturally drawn to him. His ubiquitous appearance at restaurants symbolizes the joy the eating experience there will produce. According to one source, the best Budai  porcelain figures were from the Early Chinese Republic period, with characteristics displayed by this image: decorated in famille rose enamel, individualized and expressive facial features, heavy walls, no gold highlights, a large hole in the base and an impressed seal underneath. Ceramics from this period are now highly collectible. 

Additional information

Weight 9 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 12 × 8 in
Place of Origin



Antique/Vintage Chinese Republic



Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 10.25” W: 9.5” D: 4.5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 26.03cm W: 24.13cm D: 10.16cm


3 lbs 14 oz


Excellent, age appropriate signs of wear

Item Number


Shipping Box Size