Antique Puppet Head with Top Bun, China (5274BCE) $495


H: 22.25″  W: 7.25″  D: 5 ”  |  Call 213-568-3030 for shipping cost

This antique male puppet head was carved from a single piece of wood, and like most puppets, has a tapering neck. With a well carved calm, peaceful expression, downcast eyes and half-smile, it could have been for either religious or secular purposes. The thin ridge on his forehead indicates it was likely used for various of roles in different stories.


Puppet theatre has traditionally assumed a major role in Chinese religious rituals and honoring major life and historical events. Local productions with beautifully carved puppets, music, drama and costumes instilled societal and cultural values as well as providing entertainment to audiences of all ages and educating provincial ones. This head has a typical tapering shaft and had a hook attached to its rear  which has been removed. As the puppet has a calm, peaceful expression, downward looking eyes, pursed lips and a half-smile, it could have been used for different purposes. His black painted head and round bun are cut back a bit leaving a thin ridge atop his forehead, indicating this piece was likely used for various roles in different stories. With a change of the costume and headgear, this puppet could have been a Buddhist, Taoist or Chinese Popular Religion personality or deity, an official, a folk person or another secular character in a range of many presentations. In good condition with expected losses, there is fading of the original white base coat and the black and red paint highlighting on facial features. I it was likely repainted many times. It is mounted on a contemporary frosted acrylic base that works with most interior decor.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 22.25” W: 7.25” D: 5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 56.51cm W: 18.41cm D: 22.58cm


1lb 10 oz


Good condition, see description

Item Number


Shipping Box Size