Mandarin official images are often shown seated with arms on the arm rests of horseshoe shaped or high back chairs wearing Qing dynasty officials’ front button long coat (changsang) over a long skirt and pointed hat with a finial (qing guanmao). This style was introduced by the Manchus, founders of the Qing dynasty, and influenced by their less elaborate cavalry-style clothing and was required by all Chinese Civilian Officials at court. Traditional Mandarin attire included a changshan coat – a long Chinese jacket with a high neck and front buttons worn over a long skirt – and the official headgear of Qing dynasty officials (qing guanmao): a black velvet hat in winter and a rattan woven hat in summer both having a top button or knob that later became a pointed finial worn for an audience or ceremony held by the emperor. For daily business or informal occasions, officials had to change the hat’s top. The shape and color of one’s finial was closely regulated and depended on the official’s rank which ranged from 1-9. A Mandarin Square (buzi 補子)is an embroidered badge affixed to the outer robe of civil and military officials that showed their rank and status in their hierarchies. First approved in Ming dynasty sumptuary laws of 1391, an official’s rank was indicated by large colorful bird insignias and animals were depicted for military officials. Although continuing into the Qing dynasty, there were stark differences in the square’s smaller overall size, the decorative borders were not as wide and there were some changes of the animals rank insignia’s after 1662 in military badges .

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  • Antique Mandarin Ancestor Figure, China (16479BLK) $395

    H: 11”  W: 5”  D: 3.375” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This ancestor figure is portrayed as a Mandarin civilian official indicating either his actual high rank or his family’s desire to depict him as one seated in a traditional official’s pose and dressed official Mandarin attire and high status boots. The three-character inscription on the pedestal seems to be a name 范 懋卿(Fan Mao Qing) that probably indicates his identity and/or the family who commissioned the image.




  • Antique Mandarin Ancestor In Horseshoe Chair, China (19054BOK) $850

    H: 12.75”  W: 6.625”  D: 5.75” | FREE SHIPPING

    This masterfully carved ancestor as a mandarin official sits on horseshoe chair set on a footed high decorated plinth dressed in a well-appointed formal 3-button Mandarin long coat and pointed rattan hat. His face is uniquely and unusually individualized with heavy lidded eyes, in a benevolent expression and his advanced aged indicated by the wrinkles clearly depicting a loved individual. This exquisitely carved image in excellent condition with a fine patina was true homage to a revered family member and is one of our finest ancestor figures.


  • Antique Mandarin Official Ancestor Figure, China (16433JSK) $595

    H: 11.5”  W: 5”  D: 4” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This well-carved  and remarkable ancestor figure is a lower-level Mandarin Civilian official seated on an armless yoke-back chair mounted on a plain rectangular base. He wears a traditional Mandarin jacket, an ankle-length skirt and a black velvet cap for winter or rattan woven hat in summer. His left hand is on his knee while the clenched right rests on the other one in an iconic Mandarin official pose. He is extremely well-carved with facial details showing his advanced age and he exudes an air of authority and status. In contrast to idealized ancestors, he is more individualized reflecting aspects of the actual person portrayed.


  • Antique/Vintage Earth God Tudi Gong with Wife, China (16342LOE) $750

    H: 12.375”  W: 4.875”  D: 3.625” | FREE SHIPPING

    This merry pair of Tudi Gong, the Earth God with his wife Tudi Po are portrayed as very endearing, jolly and approachable deities who probably were placed on a home shrine in a rural agrarian area. They are dressed as lower status civilian officials in elaborate but earthy robes in vibrant hues – he with a mandarin square of a bird and she with a stylized phoenix on her hat and sit in officials poses on backless chairs with a decorative pedestals. Just being in their presence makes you want to smile and share their happiness.

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