The Chinese consider red to be a life-giving color, associated with summer, the south and the vermilion bird that represents the element fire and the period of maximum yang. Red is the color of fu, and is used as a wish to summon happiness, blessings and good fortune. The color of red enhances the “good luck” of any object on which it is used. Auspicious objects such as chopsticks, peonies and hibiscus which are recognizable by their shape but are not naturally red may be portrayed as red and thus symbolize the auspicious wishes associated with of fu. Red is also the color of the goddess Shakti who personifies divine feminine creative power and creation.

Showing 1–12 of 22 results

  • Antique Attendant with Marriage Inscription, China


    This precious finely-carved diminutive figurine is an enlightened Buddhist attendant who stands on a double lotus base used only for enlightened beings as part of an array of images to bless the family for a special occasion – the marriage of a son or daughter as indicated by the inscription on the back. With hands in reverence her eyes glance down down modestly with dellight for the figure she attends and the joyous occasion .  The skillful modeling of the image and the detailed inscription make this a very special piece.


  • Antique Document Holder with Poem and Auspicious Symbols, China


    This  delicately carved and elaborate document holder was designed to be mounted on a wall held up by its back panel with sumptuously carved floral cutouts and graceful curvilinear embellishments. It was clearly intended as a wedding gift as it is embellished with a huge assortment of auspicious symbols for newly weds, with wishes for wealth, glory, harmony, unity, fertility, the birth of sons, longevity among others.  The scalloped carrier section is covered with with black, red and gilt designs and poems by the very famous Song Dynasty poet Su Shi. This would be a wonderful, unique, and appropriate wedding gift to send the bride and groom off with the best possible wishes.

  • Antique Footed Lacquer Sweetmeat Confection Mold, China


    Although wood sweetmeat (tianshin) confection molds were used to make pastry deserts for religious and secular occasions, this exceptionally crafted and beautiful hardwood footed one was most likely a marriage gift in a wealthy family as seen in the decorative images and their symbolic meanings which were easily recognized by the owners. Elaborated and elegantly decorated in vibrant reds and gilt the mold sits on feet decorated with lotuses and the side apron with upside-down bats. Wishes for fidelity and fecundity are represented by paired fish and lotus pods filled with seeds. This is one of the ultimate wedding gifts, a blessing for the newlyweds and their future children.  Although slightly warped from age, it is in excellent condition.


  • Antique God of Wealth Caishen, China


    This beautifully carved  God of Wealth (Caishen) is portrayed as are all Taoist deities as an authoritative figure, right hand firmly placed on his knee. His left hand holds a tael. His outer robe has decorative borders down the front and carved coins at the shoulders, stomach, and an undergarment is gathered with a floral designed tasseled cord. His well-defined face with incised wrinkles and long beard has a benevolent expression with rounded cheeks and an open mouth, topped by an elaborate official’s hat with ribbon-like extensions. Very fittingly, it is painted with red and gold both associated with wealth.

  • Antique Guanyin on a Mythical Hǒu, China


    This remarkable and enchanting figurine is Guanyin on her mount, the Hǒu. Although the Hǒu is often a compilation of 10 animals, here it resembles a Buddhist lion with its open roaring mouth displaying its fangs, a beard, a bushy tail, deer horns and fish scales covering its body The round orb in its mouth representing a pearl can be rubbed for good luck. She is modestly dressed, hair is in a plain bun with a simple crown, and devoid of jewels. She sits on a delicately carved saddle with fringe edges, her left hand holding her belt and her right cradling a ruyi scepter.

  • Antique Kitchen God and His Wife, China


    This pair is VA’s most unique and finely crafted Kitchen God couple. Both are mirror-images on backless chairs on a multi-sided pedestals, wear beautifully carved flowing officials’ robes, clasped hands at their chests covered in ritual cloth holding Hu tablets  Their faces represented requisite reverence and solemnity for deities who hold the future of multiple generations in their hands, but have soft approachable features and subtly smiling lips. The original red and overall gilt and lacquer coating have darkened naturally over time. They have a painted character on the base expressing a wish for “happiness.”  These exceptional consecrated pieces are in excellent condition with a fine patina.


  • Antique Kitchen God and his Wife, China


    This Kitchen God and His Wife are near mirror images and carved with fine quality and lesser but sufficient details. They sit on backless chairs on a high plinth, with similar layered gold officials’ robes with black borders and red decorative sashes with faded painted designs and clasped hands covered in ritual cloth symbolizing holding a hu tablet, and well-carved, articulated, well presented and very different headdresses. Their faces are generalized with carved and painted features, with the reverence and solemnity associated with house gods whose future of families are in their hands.


  • Antique Kitchen God and His Wife, China


    Finely detailed and carved from dense wood, this Kitchen God and his Wife are near mirror images of each other. Both sit on backless chairs on a high plinth, with layered gold officials’ robes with decorative sashes and hands clasped symbolically as if holding a hu tablet. Their different well-carved faces have arched brows, pendulous ears and hair under detailed, different and distinctive head wear. They are in excellent condition with most of the original red, black, and gold pigmentation and lacquer and have been consecrated.


  • Antique Lacquer and Gilt Pair of Fu Lions, China


    Each of this whimsical gold and red-burgundy lacquered pair of male fu lions sits erect on a high pedestal heads thrown back with flaring ears and  bulging eyes, decorative stylized manes and a small bushy tail. Their spirituality is displayed by the pair silently emitting the blessed mantra “aum”: the open mouthed lion forming an “au,” and the other completing it with a closed mouth to form “mmm.” The workmanship on these pieces is masterful, although rustic and provincial, and they are rare with their Buddhist symbolism and because most pairs of carved fu lions were lost during China’s modernization.



  • Antique Lacquer Cabinet on Carved Stand with Interior Drawer, China


    This small decorative elm lacquer storage cabinet has two carved and lacquered red doors with with a gilt frame and doors with attached raised panels with black and gilt  auspicious paintings of birds and florals. Pieces like this were often placed on or near a kang, the Chinese home sleeping platform also used for working, living, and entertaining. It was  convenient for storage and low enough to double as a small table. It  is made of two parts, the main section sits on a carved stand with horseshoe feet and  opens to a wide interior drawer. The sparkling border around the doors is probably inset with crushed shells.  The decorative metal pulls on the doors and drawer are original.  As with many Qing vernacular cabinets, the lacquer frame is in excellent condition while the raised painted panels are cracked with paint losses.

  • Antique Lacquered Fu Lion Candle Holder Pair, China


    This antique fu lion pair with candle holders arising from their backs look like they sprung from the mind of a Disney artist – they’re whimsical, have exaggerated features, possess a modicum of power, and command our attention while making us smile. In Buddhist traditions, fu lions were more friendly than fierce, with open mouths displaying teeth in a fanciful almost grinning pose. Following artistic traditions: they sit with forefeet on the ground, have thin bodies with rows of hair, a three-part tail, and are covered with auspicious reds and gilt. This endearing, fanciful, quirky, and delightful additions to any environment.


  • Antique Lacquered Wood Pair Fu Lion Furniture Bases, China


    During the Ming and Qing dynasties, small fu lion pairs were very popular accessories. As protectors of Buddhism, they are both menacing and friendly and this remarkably fanciful pair of crouching beasts joyously reflects both traits, with floppy ears, smiling open mouthed faces with tongues hanging out, and curled tails versus bushy eyebrows, bulging eyes and long pointed nails. As originally decorations on furniture with flat rear sides, they can stand alone as decorative accessories or even be a great pair of bookends. However they are used, they are guaranteed to bring a smile to those who are fortunate to see them on a regular basis.

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