Founded over 2,500 years ago, Buddhism is a universal religion based on the teachings of the Buddha that encourage followers to reason and question, even the teachings of the Buddha himself. Living a Buddhist life requires devotees to embrace and follow the way of life the Buddha taught with compassion and empathy that requires great discipline, determination and self-effort. Following that path leads to tranquility, peace, happiness, wisdom and purification of the mind. All suffering arises from earthly desire and only by eliminating desire can one gain happiness. Since humans live many lives and are continually reincarnated (reborn) to a new form of existence after death, one’s actions in previous lives (karma) determine the kind of existence a person has after rebirth. The highest goal of Buddhism is to escape the cycle of death and rebirth by achieving enlightenment and entering a timeless state known as nirvana in which one is free of all desire. Humans must embrace meditation, spiritual and physical labor, and good behavior as the way to secure freedom from suffering, sorrow to ultimately achieve enlightenment. Buddhism is divided into several sects, the main ones being Theravada which uses Pali texts and Mahayana which uses Sanskrit texts.

Showing 1–12 of 15 results

  • Antique Bronze Miniature Stupa/Pagoda, Nepal


    This 18th-century antique hand-made metal 7-level stupa/pagoda was made in Nepal and was purchased in the 1970s in Kathmandu.   This fine example has decorative details around the base and two of the round eaves have scalloped edges. It was used for personal devotion on a home altar or shrine. Antique Buddhist items are now extremely scarce in Nepal.


  • Antique Buddha as an Infant Standing on a Lion, China


    This rare carving of the infant Buddha with well defined features is clearly a provincial rendering that uniquely departs from traditional renderings. He holds a monk’s begging bowl as he points to the heavens and he stands on a lion’s head rather than a lotus, demonstrating that Shakyamuni Buddha is the lion of the Shakya clan. Given its small size, it was probably displayed on a home altar.


  • Antique Elegant Queen Mother of the West, China


    This exquisite and finely carved piece is the Taoist Queen Mother of the West sitting elegantly on a backless throne set on a hexagonal pedestal. She is a mature woman with full cheeks, an intense stare, heavy-lidded eyes, and a small but resolute chin. Her hair – pulled back above her pendulous ears, a sign of wisdom and her deified status – is up in a chignon under her headdress with a large finely carved seated phoenix. She wears a high-necked garment with graceful fully-flared robes with her hands together under a finely carved ritual cloth with an indention to hold a missing object, probably a staff. The image is triangular and culminates in the elaborately carved headdress which adds stability and strength to the image . Carved from dense wood with polychrome, gilt, and lacquer on the front side, it is in excellent condition with a crack on the back,  most of the polychrome pigmentation and lacquer intact, minor insect holes now stabilized, and some losses consistent with age and use, none of which compromises its integrity.


  • Antique Guanyin with Lobed Crown, China


    The delicately carved antique Guanyin sits with hands in her lap in dhyana (meditation) mudra and feet in padmasana (lotus position), heels facing up. Her oval head is bent in serene peacefulness with a prominent chin and cheekbones, curving pursed lips, and a wide triangular-shaped nose with a center ridge to form high arching eyebrows that frame the almost closed and almond-shaped eyes. The hair, arranged in a tall bun, curves down the back behind a tall three-lobed crown with flaring triangles decorated with deep-grooved crosshatches. The large pendulous lobes and decorated crown indicate her regal status as an enlightened Bodhisattva. The unusually high forehead and oversized head help the viewer to concentrate on her beautifully formed, quiet and calm face as a model of inner peace and serenity to which all Buddhists strive. Masterful yet simple, this image brings quiet energy to its surroundings. The sculpture has a darkened hue from centuries of smoke from incense and candles, but also has traces of the original red pigment and gilt. The rear cavity for consecration is unusually long. The losses in pigment are consistent with age, and the statue otherwise is in very good condition.

  • Antique Heavenly Empress Mazu, Protector of the Sea, China


    This vibrant image represents the “Heavenly Empress” Mazu wearing a vibrant, red-tiered outer robe topped with a black scalloped collar bordered with gold carved in graceful folds. Mazu is often dressed in red so travelers at sea can easily spot her if they need assistance. Three ornamental flowers painted on her stomach might reflect the Popular Religion myth that when Mazu’s mother was pregnant, she prayed for a daughter as she already had six sons. In a dream Guanyin gave her a flower blossom to wear, and the next day Mazu was born. This piece is wonderfully carved and is in excellent condition with exception of a few lacquer losses on her face and dress. She originally sat on a detached throne that is now replaced by a lucite base.

  • Antique Large Lohan, Probably Bodhidharma, China


    This beautifully crafted and rare antique 17-18th century Ming/Qing image portrays the heavily bearded Lohan Bodhidharma. Since it is similar to the Large Lohan with Hands in Reverence (16436A) in size, style and comparable robes, it is likely they both were part of the same group at the same religious site and carved by the same artist. Both images are brilliant in the treatment of physiognomy especially in the bone structure and facial features – his deeply and realistically carved beard and eyebrows and elaborate natural drapery of the robes. He is clearly non-Chinese and wears Lohans robes with the ceremonial shoulder ring. The hands are covered by long sleeves, eyes  lowered in deep meditation, and the head is covered with a cowl over his shoulders on the carvings front and back. As seen in the back, the statue was originally covered with red paint. The statue has a wonderful warm patina, is in excellent condition with much of the original red polychrome remaining, and some expected hairline cracks and paint losses due to its considerable age and use.  We feel strongly that both images should be displayed together as they were for centuries.



  • Antique Pair of Attendants with Offerings, China


    This unique pair of attendants was likely placed on a home altar flanking and looking slightly inward to a Buddhist or Taoist figure or deity. Standing on circular pedestals, they smile slightly with eyes cast down presenting boxed offerings – one covered with cloth with a bowed ribbon on top and the other a thin tall rectangular box with a cover. They wear voluminous robes with flaring sleeves and upward curving bottoms that defy gravity and an officials high hats and boots.  It is very rare to find pairs of charming figurines in excellent condition such as these.

  • Antique Polychrome Monk on Stand, China


    This serene and meditational figure represents a Mahayana Buddhist monk seated on a backless chair with his right leg crossed and held by his left hand, and his right hand palms out with elegantly carved fingers in a sign of blessing.  With his gentle features – eyes half-closed looking down and his mouth set in a slight sweet smile, enlarged ear lobes of an enlightened being – and softly flowing robe he brings a peaceful and meditative spirt to any space. Made to be viewed in the round, most of the original pastel pigmentation of greens, browns and beige on a black seat remains, although there is some expected flaking. It is in very good condition and mounted on a custom black wood stand.

  • Antique Songzi Guanyin, Bestower of Children, China


    This very rare and fine 16th century home shrine image displays the benign and compassionate countenance of Songzi Guanyin the “Giver of Children.”  She traditionally holds a male child in her lap facing out to her devotees to assure assistance to the hopeful parents to become pregnant, protect the mother’s pregnancy and the child after birth. She leans slightly forward, with delicate facial features with a sweet smile, wears a 5- lobed crown centered with a camellia flower a Chinese symbol of young sons and daughters. With round face and joyful half-closed and eyes, she looks lovingly at the child whose arm is draped over hers.

  • Antique Stoneware Fruit Offering


    This colorful stoneware sculpture of a food offering would have been placed on a Chinese family home altar to augment or in lieu of a plate of stacked fresh fruit. These offerings were and are still made by followers of Buddhism, Taoist and Popular Religions to honor the family’s ancestors, communicate with deities and bring prosperity, good luck and health to the home.

  • Antique Wood and Lacquer Monk (Lohan), China


    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.


  • Antique/Vintage Black Lacquer Hsun-Ok Offering Vessel, Burma (Myanmar)


    This hsun ok is set on a waisted pedestal flaring out to a circular foot-ring and with a lid topped by a tall elegantly hand-tooled spire finial that imitates the peak of a Buddhist stupa Each of the stupa’s circular spiral levels is lined in red cinnabar, as is the inside of the vessel. The base of the spiral is intricately decorated with four evenly placed quatrefoils each enclosing a mythological beast and interspersed with a flat flower surrounded by elegant curving elements. The bottom bowl section is set on a waisted pedestal with woven striations under the lacquer layers and flare out to a circular foot-ring. These stunning and superbly shaped pieces reveal much about Burmese artisans: their woodworking and lacquerware skills are elegant, their support for monastic life and their devotion to Buddhism is heartfelt and their graceful and spiritual works enhance the lives of those who live with them. This large hsun-ok in very good condition with a good patina and minor surface losses, some darkened areas, and few slightly damaged areas on the top edge of the bowl. Early 20th century hsun oks with much detail are relatively difficult to find.


End of content

End of content