Antique/Vintage Taoist Priest with Elixir of Life, China (7506PHE) $215


H: 6″  W: 10″  D: 14″  | FREE UPS Shipping

This somber and serene Taoist priest holds two auspicious symbols: a cup with the Elixir of Longevity and a tael which is a wish for wealth and good fortune.  He sits on a high pedestal with five painted characters the first two refer to the mythical “turtle spirit” that symbolize longevity and the end ones the name of the individual and/or family that commissioned this piece.  Taoist priests were responsible for protecting people against evil spirits in this life while Buddhist monks were responsible for looking after souls in the next life.




Images of Taoist priests were often placed on a home altar along with other spiritual images, ancestral tablets and  ancestor figures to honor the departed family members, practice familial piety and ancestor-worship, and request good fortune to the family dwelling and its household. Priests were called daoshi (道士 “master of the Tao”) identified by his formal priest’s attire for ritual ceremonies or state occasions (xuanduan) with a long-sleeved black garment with white piping and a black formal hat (guan). In his left hand he holds a cup with the symbolic Taoist elixir of health and longevity, and in his right a small tael, a symbol of and wish for prosperity and wealth.  This antique-Chinese-carving sits on a backless chair atop a high pedestal with five painted characters 玉灵姚先生, the end ones identifying “Mr. Yao” as the individual and/or family that commissioned this piece. The first two painted characters on the base are a bit unclear but refer either to the mythical “turtle spirit” or “divine turtle or tortoise” that symbolizes longevity, or the traditional Chinese medicine made from turtles and used for millennia.  It is in excellent condition with facial features were repainted, which was commonly done to spiritual images, with white-cream skin tones, eyes ringed in black, thick black eyebrows, and red lips. The back cavity is sealed with its original bung indicating it it was consecrated.

Click here for Eye-Opening Consecration Ceremony Blog.

Additional information

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



Antique/Vintage (1910-1980)



Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 14.75” W: 7.75” D: 4”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 37.46cm W: 19.68cm D: 10.16cm


Very good, see description

Item Number



1 lb 8oz

Shipping Box Size