Antique Taoist Official Holding a Hu Tablet, China (19043QRK) $295


H: 12.875”  W: 5”  D: 2.75” | FREE SHIPPING!

This carving  is a Taoist official or priest wearing a traditional high hat, a high collared robe adorned with painted cobalt blue cloud designs, and an official’s belt. Seated on a modest low backless chair, he holds a long, slender and curved Hu tablet and the open cavity on the back contains its concentration slip placed there during an eye-opening ceremony. .



Taoist images were represented as scholars, sages, heroes, deities, officials and priests. When these images are taken out of context they are very difficult to identify so we describe them in generic terms as a Taoist Officials, Priests or Deities. We identify this image an Official since he holds a hu-tablet associated with officials and has symbolic clouds (yun) on his robes. This antique-Chinese-wood-carving was probably placed on a home altar along with other house gods and figures, and religious images associated with ancestor worship since the open rear cavity contains a small package was inserted when it was consecrated.  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 and images on home altars represented a wish to ward off malevolent spirits and bad luck.  Made from a light wood, the carving is in good condition, with a worn surface, faded paint, and some cracks that are obvious signs of constant and long use, but much of the painted decoration and facial features, which may have been added later, remain.

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

Additional information

Weight 7 lbs
Dimensions 14 × 10 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 12.875" W: 5" D: 2.75"

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 32.70cm W: 12.7cm D: 6.97cm


1 lb


Good condition, see description

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size