Making offerings to deceased family members to show devotion and honor them or to revere gods, sprits or holy beings is part of most Asian religious traditions. In Theravada Buddhism, Burmese families bring food offerings to temples and monasteries in vessels called hsun oks to feed monks, make merit and enhance their karma and in Thailand flowers, incense and candles are common offerings made to Buddhist monks, Buddha images and people of higher rank to show respect.

In Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism, offerings are a way to communicate with and venerate gods and ancestors in temples or home altars, bring reciprocal blessings to the bearers and strengthen family ties. This may include offerings of fruit, vegetables, sweets, tea and flowers. Offerings may be represented in many ways: physically or symbolically on home and temple altars; as a single or pair of attendant statues holding offerings or as auspicious and symbolic images or decorative motifs placed on furniture, architecture, carved images, vessels, textiles or woodblock prints. For instance, a 3-item offering of dumplings on a plate is a pictorial pun for gold or silver coins symbolizing wealth and, also, a wish to pass the 3 civil levels of examinations guaranteeing a comfortable life as a civilian official. Offerings are made to the Kitchen God during the New Year to usher in health and prosperity. Traditionally, women made the offerings and men presented them on home altars or shrines to fulfill their family’s wishes.

Prasada is the word for food and water offered to deities during a daily puja ceremony in Hinduism. Five types of offerings – pushpa (flowers), dhupa (incense), deepa (light), naivedya (food) and gandha (sandalwood paste) – are made to symbolize the five elements – space, air, fire, water and earth. Offerings of fruit and flowers are also made at Hindu temples.

In Bali, trained dancers are considered messengers and direct communicators with the gods and make offerings before their performances for blessings and for acceptance of their offerings. Both the mask and dance are considered as having great power and are considered a symbolic spiritual offering to the gods.

Showing 1–12 of 22 results

  • Ancient Han Dynasty Pottery Pig, China


    This glazed pig mingqi was one of many items made for a tomb to placate the spirit of the deceased and assure the soul’s access to the things enjoyed when alive. This animal mingqi confirms the importance of pigs as a food source and of raising livestock in Han China. An alert animal whose stocky body is typical, it’s dark lead green glaze and damp tomb created a chemical reaction over centuries making it a lustrous, iridescent green impossible to copy that is highly valued in China and by collectors. In very good condition, it has expected glaze losses, minor abrasions and cracks due to its age and long tomb burial.

  • Antique Attendant with Celestial Scarf, China


    This lovely carving of a beautiful young woman represents an attendant that would have been housed on a home altar or shrine to accompany an enlightened Buddhist or Taoist figure at whom she modestly gazes.  Her hands, covered by a draped ritual cloth, hold offerings, she wears a fine tiered robe that falls gracefully to her shoes, her head is topped by a decorative scalloped headdress and a ribbon swirls around her implying her significant power, weightlessness or being in the heavens. The carving is in excellent condition with painting and applied lacquer over the back as well as the front and its lustrous patina attained over centuries adds depth and softness to the image. This is truly an elegant and forceful statue symbolizing the bestowal of blessings and longevity.

  • Antique Attendant with Offering, China


    This well-carved figure represents an attendant that would have been on a home altar to accompany a Taoist figure. Standing on a tall pedestal with a slight smile and downcast eyes, he reaches across his chest to present a rounded box secured with a ribbon. He wears an official’s hat and boots, open waistcoat over an undergarment secured at the waist. The pointed inner panel of his lower garment has slightly flaring panels with incised carved decorations.  He is in very good condition with remains of the original lacquer and gilt which have naturally darkened from age and. from years of incense, age and use.

  • Antique Carving of Auspicious Fruit Offering, China


    This offering plate with a stack of five propitious fruits was affixed to probably one of the bed posts for a couple as a wish for male children and longevity. The plate sits on a base draped with a stylized ritual cloth and embellished with carved leaves and holds a pomegranateon top to symbolize fertility and fecundity  and the four fruits below are peaches symbols of longevity and long life, The finely carved fruits were painted with reds and browns and covered with lacquer that darkens over time, all preserved in this charming presentation which is in excellent condition.

  • Antique Female Attendant with Offerings, China


    This delicately carved seated female attendant in polychrome and lacquer probably accompanied Buddhist, Taoist, or Popular Religion images and ancestor figures on a home altar. With her hands held at her chest covered by a ritual cloth she hold an offering bowl. She has a blissful expression, pursed lips in a serene smile, eyes downcast reverently, and hair flowing down her back under a decorative cap and wears a traditional high collared outer robe over a shorter undergarment with a broad sash hanging to the garment hem. It is in very good condition with expected paint, scratches, and losses consistent with age.


  • Antique Majapahit Miniature Terracotta Head, Indonesia


    This terracotta head was crafted during the Majapahit Empire in Java and was either part of a Hindu bas-relief frieze or made as a freestanding figurine. Most figures found are small decapitated heads with no bodies, and it is very rare to find a complete figure with a naturalistic facial expression. As with many heads, this one displays Javanese facial features, hairstyles and ear ornamentation typical of the period. It has a naturalistic facial expression and wears large round coiled earrings, possibly suggesting it represented someone of the upper classes. It is in very good condition given its age and use and is mounted on a metal stand. This items pairs with Majapahit Terracotta Head 1137.



  • 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 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/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.


  • Antique/Vintage Votive Silver Puja Spoon, India


    This finely crafted vintage votive silver spoon was part of an array of objects used for daily Hindu prayers (puja) which were arranged on a puja tray. Solidly cast, it is embellished with beautify flowing and lyrical incising from the elaborate handle down to and including the inside of the spoon it is covered with gorgeous linear designs, florals and stylized lotuses bordered with a stylized rope motif.

  • Rare Vintage Jauk Mask, Lombok


    This finely carved vintage mask is called a Jauk manis mask. It represents the more gentle traits of a giant with human traits, normal features and a smile, and its white color is usually symbolic of purity. It can also be colored reddish or orange symbolizing an individual easy to anger. Collected in the 1970s in Lombok, this mask is rare as Lombok at that time had few tourists and the Balinese community of carvers living there generally did not sell their masks. It has a fine aged patina, hairline cracks and frayed eyebrows consistent with its age and use.

  • Rare Vintage Timor Mask Featured in Spiderman Movie


    This large rare vintage Timor ancestor mask with huge eyes, a horsehair beard, an inverted curved U-shaped mouth and two small half-circle ears is an ancestral carving having the powerful resolve to protect living relatives. This is in excellent condition considering its age, storage and use, has a black patina and comes with a museum-quality metal stand. This mask is one of 3 of our masks featured in the original 2002 Spiderman movie pictured on the wall in the collection of Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin.


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