Antique Wood and Lacquer Monk (Lohan), China (16241BHK) $785


H: 14.25”  W: 7.125”  D: 4.875” | FREE SHIPPING!

This finely carved seated Lohan from Fukien Province has a characteristic serene expression of inward concentration and is seated on a backless plinth, hands in meditation and legs in padmasana. His oversized head and pendulous ears symbolize his wisdom as an enlightened being, and his angular face with deeply set heavily lidded eyes, protruding cheekbones, pursed lips, and a strong chin indicate his strength as a Lohan. An elaborate robe with wide sleeves is draped over his shoulders, arms, and legs and his sash is pulled through a wide shoulder ring indicating his status as a Lohan.



The 18 original Lohans were the major disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha whom he, at his death bed, entrusted to protect Buddhist teachings. Over centuries, their numbers increased to over 500 enlightened beings recognized for their courage and supernatural powers. In Mahayana Buddhism, Lohans represent the ideal toward which Buddhist devotees should strive as they have perfect knowledge of all things and can ensure perfection in others. Through training, wisdom and spiritual efforts, they have reached a level of understanding and can attain buddhahood and enlightenment and, although they can enter Nirvana they chose to remain earthly realms in human form to spread Buddha’s teachings until the coming of Maitreya. Unlike other enlightened beings, Lohans are portrayed as realistic images of people with individualized features. Buddhist-statues of Lohans line temple and monastery walls and sometimes smaller clan temples. This, like most traditional images, has pendulous ears, the sign of spiritual superiority and coming Buddhahood and Enlightenment and their identification as Taoist sages; shaved heads reflecting their detachment from worldly pleasures and renunciation of mundane desires; and monks-robes with long sleeves covering the hands and knees draped over the left shoulder and fastened with a prominent shoulder ring. This antique-Chinese-wood-carving sits in dhyana (meditation) with covered legs in padmasana. His detailed robes, collar, borders, shoulder, sleeves, and apron are highlighted with gilt and decorated with raised curvilinear designs of wire-like strands of dough made from incense ash, which is unusual, as Lohans rarely wear elaborate robes. The shoulder roundels have raised designs of birds; curvilinear designs border the robes, and a square bordered panel below the chest is centered with another bird. Made to be seen on all sides, the back is covered in red, gilt, and thin lacquer coat and fully carved with the draped sash obscuring a cavity closed with the original bung indicating it was consecrated. Despite the age related fading and darkening of the lacquer and a small. crack, this piece is in very good condition. This antique-Chinese-wood-carving  is part of the VA Collection of Buddhist-Art.

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

Additional information

Weight 9 lbs
Dimensions 18 × 12 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 14.25” W: 7.125” D: 4.875”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 36.195cm W: 18.097cm D: 12.382cm


3 lbs 11 oz


Very good, see description

Item Number