The Elixir of Life or of Immortality is celebrated as the potion providing one an ageless life and granting the drinker eternal life. Chinese alchemists and Taoists believed it cured all diseases and obsessively searched for its formula for millennia. The possibility and search for it fascinated emperors, statesmen, poets, scholars, and a long list of others. China’s first emperor launched a nationwide search for this elusive potion before his death in 210 BCE and some emperors died from drinking potions that contained mercury, sulphur, metals, and other fatal ingredients. Taoist philosophy stressed a life in harmony with the Tao or Dao (the Way) achieved by living simply, honestly. and in harmony with nature. In the Han dynasty, Taoists who observed the metamorphosis of silkworms from their cocoon concluded that the mulberry leaves silkworms ate must have life-prolonging, magical, and transformational properties. A mulberry leaf potion was placed in tombs inside cocoon-shaped jars decorated with painted images of clouds to aid souls of the departed in the afterlife to happily live among the immortals and gods in the heavens forever. Images of Ming and Qing dynasty Taoist officials and priests are easily identified when they hold a cup of the elixir of life.

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    Antique Seated Taoist Priest Holding Elixir of Immortality (16312BOK) China $675 SPECIAL PRICE

    Original price was: $675.00.Current price is: $540.00.
    H: 9″  W: 5″   D:3.5″    | FREE SHIPPING in continental u.s.!

    This finely carved, beautifully detailed statue of a Taoist Official was created using a combination of simplified geometric forms and colors to create a small but striking and significant piece. Holding the Elixir of Immortality, the statue symbolizes a wish for a long and happy afterlife. Mounted on a uniquely crafted frosted acrylic base, it complements any décor.

  • Antique Taoist Priest with Elixir of Life, China (14018XCK) $295

    H: 7.25”  W: 2.75”  D: 2” | FREE SHIPPING!

    Taoist priests like this were placed on home altars to bring wishes of fu – a virtuous, prosperous and long to the home in which they were placed. This vibrant figure hold a ritual cup symbolically containing the elixir of life in his left hand. The open back cavity reveals the slip that was placed there during a consecration ceremony by a taoist priest.


  • Antique/Vintage Taoist Priest with Elixir of Life, China (7506PHE) $215

    H: 6″  W: 10″  D: 14″  | FREE UPS Shipping

    This somber and serene Taoist priest holds two auspicious symbols: a cup with the Elixir of Longevity and a tael which is a wish for wealth and good fortune.  He sits on a high pedestal with five painted characters the first two refer to the mythical “turtle spirit” that symbolize longevity and the end ones the name of the individual and/or family that commissioned this piece.  Taoist priests were responsible for protecting people against evil spirits in this life while Buddhist monks were responsible for looking after souls in the next life.



  • Han Dynasty Cocoon Jar with Cloud Designs, China (16015UHEM) $2100

    H: 11.75”  W: 12.25”  D: 7.5” | FOR SHIPPING INFORMATION CONTACT US AT 213-568-3030

    Cocoon jars were mingqi made for placement in tombs to comfort the deceased on their journey to and in their afterlife. An elixir of Immortality made from mulberry leaves or their ashes was placed inside for the deceased to drink and transmigrate into the world of the beyond. Ovoid in shape to resemble a silkworm cocoon, ajar rests on a small trumpet-shaped foot and has a narrow neck and a wide lip at its mouth. Painted after firing with vertical bands dividing it into panels, swirling cloud scrolls, and circular “eye” motifs at each end, this beautiful vessel is in excellent condition for its age with expected paint losses, scrapes, and dirt adhesions.

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