Antique/Vintage Taoist Shaman with Taotie on Hat, China (7503ZAH) $395


H: 13.625”  W: 7”  D: 5.5” | FREE SHIPPING!

This vibrant carving of a Taoist priest or shaman is in religious attire with double-winged high hat centered with an image of a taotie. Two fingers of hisleft hand are in karana mudra to cast our evil spirits and the tael or silver ingot in his right hand represents a wish for wealth. The closed cavity and the inscription on the back indicate it was consecrated by a Taoist priest.


This image from Guandong wears typical Taoist priest or shaman attire – an undergarment crossed at the neck, an overcoat clasped at the waist and a double-winged high hat centered with an image of a taotie. The taotie is a mystical animal sometimes on the hat of Taoist priests or shamans as a guardian or protective figure and as a warning against greed and excess. The character on the right side of his hat reads “the sun” and the left is “the moon.”  Two fingers of his left hand point in the  Karana Mudra or Sword Gesture used to cast spells, empower talismans, and for consecration. His right hand holds a tael, a rectangular or boat shaped object symbolizing wealth and good fortune. The image was consecrated as evidenced by the newly replaced bung and by the inscription on the rear base with the name “Zeng”, most likely the family that commissioned it. An additional lower inscription suggests he is the 14th son in the family. This piece is in very good condition other than a small hole by the taoties right eye, a crack on the crown and forehead, and some paint losses consistent with age and use. It was repainted many years ago with bright colors over its old gilt lacquer surface, seen from the unpainted portions of the head. Most antique-Chinese-wood-carvings have been damaged from heat and humidity and families traditionally requested re-paintings to honor the image and enhance karma. This image is similar to one designated as a shaman in the Canterbury Auctions Gallery October 6, 2016 catalog (lot 1075).

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


Canterbury Auctions Gallery October 6, 2016 Day 3 – The Keith Stevens Collection of Chinese Gods





Additional information

Weight 10 lbs
Dimensions 16 × 12 × 8 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


Early 20th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 13.625” W: 7” D: 5.5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 34.29cm W: 17.78cm D: 13.97cm


Very good, see description

Item Number



2 lbs 9oz

Shipping Box Size