Antique Queen Mother of the West on Horse with Elixir Bowl, China (16297BLEM) $3750


H:  22″  W: 8.25″  D:10″ | FOR SHIPPING INFORMATION CONTACT US AT 213-568-3030

Given its size and quality, this rare and exquisite Queen Mother of the West probably was placed in a local temple or village/family clan setting. She is the Taoist deity who grants immortality, is the patron deity of women, controls the length of lives, and cultivates of virtue. This magnificent carving portrays her on a horse with a magnificent headdress centered by her iconic striking phoenix holding a cup with the elixir of immortality


The syncretic Queen Mother of the West is revered as one of the most significant of the female Taoist-deities with a large Buddhist and Popular Religion following. She was the first female deity represented in Chinese art. Her immeasurable powers include her complete control over life and creation as well as death and destruction. She can grant immortality, is the patron deity of women, a divine teacher who controls the length of lives, and is closely associated with the cultivation of virtue. Wearing magnificent headdress centered by her iconic striking phoenix over her pendulous ears, she holds a cup containing the elixir of immortality which grants eternal life.  Her graceful fingers are in a variation of the karana mudra, the most important Taoist mudra used by priests and masters to cleanse and purify and emanate energy to rid obstacles and unwanted energy. This antique-Chinese-wood-carving shows her with the delicate features of a mature woman with a round face, radiant smile, full cheeks, and a small chin all highlighted with gilt. Her black hair surmounts her pendulous ears in a chignon under her glorious headdress centered by a striking phoenix. As with several of our pieces she seated on an elegant regal horse with a bell hanging from a strap on his chest, head turned with pointed ears expressing its alertness and long tail draped around its left leg. Although we haven’t found documentation about her direct association with horses, The Book of Changes states that the horse represents heaven, a king, a father, and a well-educated man of honor in traditional Chinese culture. Dr. Thomas Ritter notes that the frequent presence of horses in Taoist images symbolizes man’s harmony with and the elegance of nature.  “ [in] Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching…the dressage artist rides and trains in harmony with Nature [and is] at one with the Tao [and nature] which gives his horses and his work radiance and expressiveness,” which is clearly reflected here. Lee Irvin calls her one of the Great Chinese Goddesses who are imperially sanctioned and epitomize the feminine role of compassionate protectors who grant health, long life and safety to all. Carved from a single piece of dense wood, a lacquer coat was applied over polychrome hues and gilt visible at the collar, ears and forehead. The back cavity is sealed with its bung encasing its contents indicates it was consecrated. This carving is part of the VA Collection of Deities-and-Legends.

Click here for the Blog Queen Mother of the West Xiwangmu : Taoism’s Iconic Female Sovereign of Immortals

Click here for Eye-Opening Consecration Ceremony Blog.


china’, The Horse Chinese Zodiac Sign: Symbolism in Chinese Culture.

Dr. Thomas Ritter, The Tao of Horsemanship – Chapter One artistic


Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18th century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 22” W: 8.25” D: 10”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 55.88cm W: 20.95cm D: 25.4cm


8lb 7oz


Excellent, See Descripton

Item Number

16297B BLEM

Shipping Box Size