Reverence for monks has always been a strong component of Mahayana Buddhism, which flourished in East Asia, especially China. Buddhism was brought to China by foreign missionary monks traveling from India through Central Asia along the Silk Roads. Mahayana Buddhism sects were introduced by foreign monk and traveling merchants. Chinese have traditionally associated enlightened beings such as Buddhas and bodhisattvas with the monastic community. Ordained monks (bikkhu) and nuns (bikkhuni) comprised the Buddhist Sangha or community of monks. Buddhist monks and monasticism are among the earliest forms of organized monasticism. Monks are responsible for teaching and preserving Buddhist principles and guiding followers towards the path of enlightenment. They live by rules to support their spiritual practice and maintain a simple, moral, proper and meditative life with the goal of attaining. Lohans are monks who were Buddhas first disciples have achieved enlightenment but refrain from reaching nirvana and remain on earth to preserve the teaching of Buddhism, protect the Buddhist faith and serve as models for followers to lead a moral life and reach nirvana. Monks wear simple robes (kasaya)as did Buddha which were delineated in the Vinaya, rules orally passed down from the Buddha to his disciples. Overtime, different Vinayas accommodated the different Buddhist sects. The Theravada kasaya are composed of three pieces of cloth called “Triple Robe” or “Tricivara”: the uttarasanga wraps around the left shoulder and leaves open the right shoulder and arm, the antaravasaka inner robe covering the lower body and the sanghati outer robe worn over the other pieces. Buddha images often portray him wearing only the lower robe and an outer robe worn with the right shoulder bare or covering both shoulders. His third robe is sometimes portrayed folded draped over the shoulders. In some Mahayana Buddhas, especially during the Ming and Qing dynasties, his three-part robe covers both shoulders, is tied at the waist, and extends over his back. In sculpture robes Mahayana robles are realistic with folded drapery and in Theravada Buddhism, are “wet” where the robe clings to the body and is almost invisible.

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  • Antique Female Taoist Priest with Hu Tablet, China (19154BLE) $495

    H: 12”  W: 4.235”  D: 2.25” | FREE SHIPPING

    This charming female figure with a sweet smiling face is a female Taoist priest wearing plain priest’s robe and an unusual headdress centered with a phoenix, the Chinese “king of birds” holding a ceremonial Hu tablet often carried by Taoists priests to indicate their power and status and their presence before a Taoist deity. Although there are few carved images of female Taoist priests, from its inception Taoism was very compatible with feminine characteristics and ordained them as priests.


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    Antique Large Lohan, Probably Bodhidharma, China (16436B-WHKE) SPECIAL PRICE

    Original price was: $7,300.00.Current price is: $5,500.00.
    H: 27.5”  W: 12.75”  D: 9.75” |CALL 213-568-3030 OR EMAIL VANISHINGARTS@GMAIL.COM FOR SHIPPING COST

    This exceptional, masterfully crafted and rare Ming or early Qing woodcarving is the heavily bearded Lohan Bodhidharma. As it is similar in size, robes and style as the Lohan (16436A), it was probably carved by the same artist and displayed together along with other Lohans. Very rare, we recommend both images be displayed together as they were originally. Bodhidharma is a legendary Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th or 6th century CE.. He is credited with bring Zen Buddhism to Japan,  creating Shaolin kungfu and discovering the use of the tea plant to make the most popular beverage on earth (after water).

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  • Antique Polychrome Monk on Stand, China (16328CSE) $1350

    H: 23.25″  W: 31.75″  D: 9″ | call for shipping 323-568-3030

    This serene and meditational figure represents a Mahayana Buddhist monk on a backless chair, right leg crossed and right hand palms out 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 It mounted on a custom black wood stand.

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  • Antique Portable Monk’s Prayer/StudyTable, Tibetan (7020HOL) $595

    Ht: 13.875”  W: 26.25”  D: 13.125”  | FOR SHIPPING INFORMATION CONTACT US AT 213-568-3030

    One of a pair of antique low tables on 3 folding bamboo-shaped leg supports, this traveling prayer/study table was designed for Tibetan monks or nomadic families to lay out sutras (scriptures), scrolls, books and other study materials and by Tibetan devotees as a personal altar/prayer table. It is simply decorated with painted florals on vines and a fruit offering bowl symbolizing flowering of enlightenment and opening of the heart.

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    Antique Rare Large Lohan with Hands in Reverence, China (16436A-WHKE) SPECIAL PRICE

    Original price was: $7,300.00.Current price is: $5,500.00.
    H: 28.25  W: 12.75”  D: 9.75” | CALL 213-568-3030 OR EMAIL VANISHINGARTS@GMAIL.COM FOR SHIPPING COST

    Although they are Buddhist images,  Lohans are portrayed as a real person with very individual, distinctive, and un-idealized features.  His benevolent youthful sweetly smiling face with downcast eyes is an image of compassion, wisdom and peace.This exceptional, beautifully crafted rare 17-18th century Ming/Qing large Lohan is from the same Buddhist location as the foreign-born heavy bearded Lohan Bodhidharma, and the same artist may have carved both. We recommend keeping them as a pair to display together.

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  • Antique Wood and Lacquer Hooded Monk (Lohan), China (16098BSK) $595

    H: 13.25”  W: 7.5”  D: 6.25” | FREE SHIPPING

    This finely carved Lohan carved to be viewed on all sides sits in meditation his serene expression of inward concentration enhanced with his downcast eyes. He wears a hooded robe with a traditional shoulder ring and a cowl at the neck and wide sleeves that drapes to the base.  His highly decorated robes with gilt highlights are unusual, as Lohans generally wear unadorned monastic robes. This image is more youthful rather than a traditional  elderly monk.


  • Antique Wood and Lacquer Monk (Lohan), China (16241BHK) $785

    H: 14.25”  W: 7.125”  D: 4.875” | FREE SHIPPING!

    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.


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