Antique Attendant Sword Bearer to Guandi, God of War, China (16112LSE) $875


H: 23.25”  W: 11.5”  D: 7.75” | CALL 213-568-3030 FOR SHIPPING

This rare fine woodcarving represents Chou Ts’ang, the aide-de-camp to Guandi, the most revered military hero in Chinese history. Portrayed with black skin tones, he has an intense expression highlighted by inset glass eyes and wears a military uniform with raised beads bordering his topcoat tied above his waist, a belt below his stomach, and heavy black military boots and hat. The sword he originally held is now missing.  His plain round pedestal has an indentation in the middle, possibly to affix the figure to a larger configuration.



Guandi lived during the latter part of the Han Dynasty and is the best known and most revered Chinese military historical hero. He was canonized in 1504 as Guan Di, the Taoist God of War and China’s Protector. According to Keith Stevens, he is “all things to all men, not only prayed to for protection and prosperity but also to solve all problems: personal, domestic, national, and universal.” Chou-Tsang (Chou-Tsang) is Guandi’s attendant and the bearer of his weapons – a sword – and often appears in a triad with Guandi and his adopted son Kwan P’ing. Paintings portray a duo with Chou-Tsang behind Guandi. Chou-Tsang is portrayed dressed in a lacquer gilt uniform or wearing maille with either black or dark skin tones and often, as here, holding a sword now missing while facing Guandi. Wikipedia claims (take with a grain of salt given the source) “Ancient Chinese people regarded black as the king of colors and honored black more consistently than any other color … and Taoists believe black is the color of the Tao.”  Chou-Tsang is normally placed to Guandi’s left with eyes downcast in respect to the general and with his left foot forward ready to spring into action. Given its size, this figure, which is fairly rare, was probably  part of a wealthy home altar, clan or small temple shrine along with other carved images. The statue was covered on the back as well as the front with layers of gilt and polychrome, most of which remain on the front, but much has been worn off on the rear due to age and use. Otherwise, it is in very good condition. The figure has its original sealed bung indicating it was consecrated.

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


Keith Stevens, Chinese Gods: The Unseen World of Spirits and Demons,  London, Collins and Brown Ltd, 1997.

Wikipedia, Color in Chinese Culture.

Additional information

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 23.25” W: 11.5” D: 7.75”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 59.055cm W: 29.21cm D: 19.685cm


10lbs 4oz


Very good, see description

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size