Officials Attire

After the Ming Dynasty (1644), Qing Manchu rulers use officials’ attire to foster social stability and economic development, reflected in painted and sculptural images. Elaborate Ming dynasty court attire was replaced with simplified Han Manchu traditional clothing, although some Ming traditions were retained. Manchu imperial dress codes had complex rules regulating hairstyle, uniforms, hats, shoes and ornaments for officials that reflected rank, status, occasions and seasons and non-compliance resulted in harsh punishment. By the Qianlong Emperor (1735–1796) codes applied only to scholars and officials. Through end of the Qing dynasty (1912) government and court officials were required to wear changsang coats modified from Ming attire but slimmer with buttons, loops and a slanted S-shaped collar and hats called a qing guanmao which were black velvet in winter and woven rattan in summer with a button or knob finial. The shape and color of one’s finial was regulated depending on the official’s rank which ranged from 1-9. For daily business or informal occasions, officials had to change the hat’s top. Qing attire make it easier for us to identify ancestors depicted as officials. Military officials wore a cylindrical cap with a higher back and lower front called a Pingshanze, while civil servants wore a variant called a Jieze.

Showing 1–12 of 17 results

  • Antique Agricultural Deity and Spring Ox, China (16337LKE) $885

    $885.00
    H: 14.25”  W: 7.125”  D: 4.875” | CALL 213-568-3030 FOR SHIPPING

    To pay homage and respect to one’s ancestors, Chinese rural families commissioned images to honor and protect family members, and in some instances, their domestic and farm animals as seen in this exceptional, fine and rare carving.  Intricately carved from one piece of wood, it depicts a Taoist official holding a hu tablet on top above  the “Spring Ox” accompanied by the “Herd Box”, who together perform an ancient agricultural rituals at the end of each winter to wake the earth up so that spring can arrive.

     

  • Antique Ancestor Figure in Official’s Attire, China (16752) $2285

    $2,285.00
    H: 34″  W: 11.25″  D: 7.25″ | FOR SHIPPING INFORMATION CONTACT US AT 213-568-3030

    Although this wonderfully carved antique figure portrays an ancestor depicted as an official, his atypically benevolent and finely modeled face makes him a very endearing figure. Old and weathering from age in its rear, this piece was repainted probably in the 20th century, as was always periodically done with old figures with losses, here especially due to the seasonal South China climate. With his individualized convincing features, he is a very relatable rather than authoritarian figure, possibly resulting from the affection of the family that commissioned it.

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  • Antique Carved Standing Ancestor Official, China (18017ESK) $425

    $425.00
    Ht: 8.25″  W: 3″  D: 2.125″ | FREE SHIPPING!

    Dressed in a red robe with a high neck collar, extremely wide sleeves extending below the knees and a belt around his waist, this ancestor figure portrayed as a civilian official standing on a rectangular base with hands together wearing a long civil official’s robe that extends to his shoes but has no rank badge indicated.

  • Antique Civilian Official Ancestor Figure, China (16848BEM) $395

    $395.00
    H: 13.75″  W: 5.25″  D: 4″ | FREE SHIPPING!

    This ancestor figure, carved in boxwood the preferred wood softwood during the Qing Dynasty, is portrayed in the characteristic pose of a Chinese civilian official, grasping his official’s belt with his right hand to demonstrate his important stature – which was really not so important for this gentleman, given his humble seating furniture and his modest attire. His right hand rests on the his knee as he sits erect on a thick low-back pedestal. Unlike many officials who are serious, this one is more approachable, with simple deeply carved smiling features, high arching brows and a black painted mustache and beard.

     

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

    $395.00
    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

    $850.00
    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 Ancestor on Horseshoe Chair, China (18061BEM) $455

    $455.00
    Ht: 8.5″  W: 4″  D: 3.375″ | FREE SHIPPING!

    This small fine quality piece depicts a modest ancestor figure as a Mandarin official seated in a horseshoe chair on a raised pedestal emphasizing his importance wearing the traditional mandarin 5-button long coat with a round collar, a plain officials hat, and an undergarment extending to the top of his black shoes. He has a somewhat personalized oval-shaped tranquil face, a high forehead with curved painted brows, a hint of a smile on his pursed lips, and a triangular pigtail down his back.

     

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

    $595.00
    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 Ming Attendant with Zodiac Animal, China (1155BCK) $395

    $395.00
    H: 7.375”  W: 2.75”  D: 2.5” | FREE SHIPPING!

    A group of 12 zodiac figures as mingqi sometimes accompanied the wealthy deceased in their tomb. This Ming dynasty earthenware figurine stands on a low circular base and wears an official’s hat and long flowing robes. It is difficult to identify the specific animal held here but it may be a rabbit, small dog or baby pig. The detailed figure is hollow and partially mould-made and unlike glazed mingqi, was covered with a white slip and painted using black and white pigments which are mostly extant.

  • Antique Official in Red Robes with a Hu Tablet, China (16851BOK)

    $875.00
    H: 15.5:  W: 6.125″  D: 4.125″ | free shipping!

    This fine ancestor figure portrayed as a Chinese official with many indications of his high status. He sits on a backless chair upon a high decorative pedestal upon which his feet rest and . He wears officials attire: a futou cap and high collared red robe with double belt extending to his shoes. He sits in a formal pose with hands on his thighs holding a long slender  hu tablet. His facial hairs indicate a mustache and beard, now partially lost, on his gilt colored face.

     

  • Antique Pair of Attendants with Offerings, China (16242BLK) $650

    $650.00
    H: 7”  Dia: 2.875″ | FREE SHIPPING!

    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. 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 Seated Ancestor Official, China (16289BME) $650

    $650.00
    H: 7.25”  W: 4.625”  D: 3.5” | FREE SHIPPING

    This finely carved ancestor wears official’s attire and hat and sits in a horseshoe chair with his feet on a pedestal to emphasize his power and status, although he appears to be a lovwer level civilian official.  It is masterfully carved and lacquered and is painted on front and back in red  with traces of gilt – all propitious colors of “fu” as a wish for wealth, health, good fortune, long life and long life – that has faded over it years of use into a great patina.

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