Images of Taoists, wealth gods and priests are often portrayed carrying a rectangular or boat shaped objects symbolizing wealth and thus are a wish for riches and good fortune. These objects represent taels, a common form of currency in China or, more specifically, ingots called yuanbao. Ingots are silver measurements of value first used during the Yuan dynasty that were molded into boat or shoe-shaped objects called yuanbao. Yuanbao is a rebus (visual pun) symbolizing official office or rank and can also symbolize coming in first in the imperial examination system. Silver ingots are also one of the Chinese Eight Treasures and symbolize brightness and purity. Statues of taoist priests holding a tael/ingot and a cup with the elixir of immortality are sometimes included on home altars along with statues of ancestors.

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  • Antique Earth God Tudi Gong, China (16332BOK) $775

    H: 12.125”  W: 6.125”  D: 4.125” | FREE SHIPPING

    This vibrant and finely carved wood statue is the old good-natured Earth God Tudi Gong once found in most rural communities throughout China. He is a kind and benevolent god as seen by his good natured features, believed to live in and help residents of small villages, especially for issues relating to agriculture or wealth.   As an administrator he sits on a horseshoe chair wearing officials clothes and carries a tael, a gold bar that symbolizes a wish for wealth. With his sweet and unpretentious demeanor, he looks like someone you just like to hang out with. Once in every village and most homes, these charming images have, like all Taoist deity images, become scarce.



  • Antique God of Wealth Caishen, China (19313BCK) $745

    H: 10.25”  W: 4.75”  D: 3.625” | FREE SHIPPING!

    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 and left hand holding 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 Stone Earth God Tudi Gong, China (17406BSK) $725

    H: 8”  W: 5”  D4” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This antique stone Tudi Gong statue was finely crafted by a local provincial artisan and reflects many traditional characteristics of this beloved lower status deity: a benevolent face, voluminous rotund belly, slouched shoulders, and holding taels to bestow wealth and fortune and maybe assurances to rural common folk. In his past he rested happily on an outdoor shrine, and would be very happy to continue doing so in a home garden to bring prosperity and an aura of past times to a new family.

    Click here for Blog Tudi Gong: the Taoist and Popular Religion Earth God

  • Antique/Vintage Carved House Deity, China (7507QOK) $295

    H: 12.7”  W: 3.375”  D: 3”| FREE SHIPPING!

    Images like this were commissioned by families to honor departed ancestors, and this family seems to have requested an amplified tribute by posing him with characteristics of Guandi, the god of war, or maybe it is Guandi very liberally depicted by a provincial artist. He sits on a high backless chair, hands on knees, one holding a small tael and the other poised to hold a sword, wearing military maille at the chest and knees, also used in depictions of Guandi. The calligraphy on the base is the name Wu (last) Fa Tian (first), the ancestor to whom the statue was dedicated.

  • Antique/Vintage Taoist Priest with Elixir of Life, China (7506PHE) $215

    H: 6″  W: 10″  D: 14″  | FREE UPS Shipping

    This somber and serene Taoist priest holds two auspicious symbols: a cup with the Elixir of Longevity and a tael which is a wish for wealth and good fortune.  He sits on a high pedestal with five painted characters the first two refer to the mythical “turtle spirit” that symbolize longevity and the end ones the name of the individual and/or family that commissioned this piece.  Taoist priests were responsible for protecting people against evil spirits in this life while Buddhist monks were responsible for looking after souls in the next life.



  • Antique/Vintage Taoist Shaman with Taotie on Hat, China (7503ZAH) $395

    H: 13.625”  W: 7”  D: 5.5” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This vibrant carving of a Taoist priest or shaman is in religious attire with double-winged high hat centered with an image of a taotie. Two fingers of hisleft hand are in karana mudra to cast our evil spirits and the tael or silver ingot in his right hand represents a wish for wealth. The closed cavity and the inscription on the back indicate it was consecrated by a Taoist priest.

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