Taoists were represented in art as scholars, sages, heroes, officials and priests When these images are taken out of context they are very difficult to identify so we use the term Taoist to signify an Official, Priest or sage. A Taoist priest is called a daoshi (道士 “master of the Tao”) a moniker for a monk, official or master or sometimes even referred to as shaman. Ming and Qing images of Taoists can often be identified by their formal attire for ritual ceremonies or state occasions consisting of a long-sleeved black garment with white piping and a black formal hat (guan). Carvings of Taoist priests often appear on home altars many bearing Taoist symbols such as cups with elixirs of immortality, taels of silver or gold for wealth, with their hands in ritualistic positions sometimes covered by ritual cloth. They often carried long slender Hu or audience tablets as ritual objects indicating they were in the presence of a Taoist deity. Women were Taoist priests soon after its inception and there are many legends about Taoist female deities as well. Taoism is very compatible with feminine characteristics including modesty, softness, yielding to the Tao, and non-aggression. Some schools admired their ability to communicate with deities, and the Tang Dynasty was the zenith for Taoist women who numbered one-third of the Shangqing School clergy. Taoist priests were in charge of protecting people against evil spirits in this life while Buddhist monks were in charge of looking after souls in the next life, and images of them on home altars represented a wish to ward off malevolent spirits and bad luck.

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

    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 Carved Wood Taoist Priest, China (16157ERK) $350

    H: 9.25”  W: 4.5”  D: 3.25” | FREE SHIPPING

    This well carved image probably is a Taoist official that was placed on a home altar along with other religious and ancestral carvings to summon good wishes and energy and ward off malevolent forces. His high status and importance as a Taoist official are affirmed by his static pose, solemn face, official’s robes and refined hat and the red and gilt pigmentation covering the front and back.

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    Antique Carving of Taoist Fertility Goddess Niangniang, China (17005LREM) SPECIAL PRICE

    Original price was: $6,900.00.Current price is: $5,900.00.
    H: 43″  W: 15″  D 9.75″ |  CALL US AT 213-568-3030 FOR SHIPPING cost

    This large exceptionally impressive carving is the Taoist fertility goddess Niangniang, “The Maiden Who Brings Children” often portrayed similar to Songzi Guanyin. Created by a provincial artisan, she is charming, humble, has beautiful features is portrayed with three diminutive children and is represented as an empress figure in Taoist attire. This is a rare and truly magnificent carving.

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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 Nanhai Guanyin with Attendants and Donor, China (16218BHEM) $5900 SPECIAL PRICE

    Original price was: $5,900.00.Current price is: $4,950.00.
     H: 34″    W: 12 ”    D: 15 ” SHIPPING INFORMATION REQUIRED. CONTACT US AT 213-568-3030

    Guanyin clearly dominates this majestic carving, in meditation and wearing  an ornate high  blue crown centered with an Amitabha Buddha in a deep arched border  topped by flat lotus leaves.This remarkable Nanhai-Guanyin  is extremely rare, unique and difficult to interpret. We have never seen a Guanyin in her cave at Putuo surrounded by with two sets of attendants, her acolytes Shan Tsai  and the Dragon Princess Longnu and a seated Taoist official/ priest or possible the donor at the apex.  This was clearly commissioned by a very wealthy donor who wished to make a spiritual statement while emphasizing his reverence and status.


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  • Antique Official with Hu Tablet, China (14001ZSK) $395

    H: 14.25”  W: 5.5”  D: 4” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This unique and dense antique/vintage carving may represent the noted historical figure:  the principal regent Dorgon  of the first Qing Emperor Shunzhi who ruled from 1643-1650 as a”quasi” emperor based  on the four-character inscription that reads “Southern Holy Emperor.” He is presented wearing an impressive and detailed hat and coat holding a hu tablet characteristic of one standing before an emperor.


  • Sale!

    Antique Seated Taoist Priest Holding Elixir of Immortality (16312BOK) China $675 SPECIAL PRICE

    Original price was: $675.00.Current price is: $540.00.
    H: 9″  W: 5″   D:3.5″    | FREE SHIPPING in continental u.s.!

    This finely carved, beautifully detailed statue of a Taoist Official was created using a combination of simplified geometric forms and colors to create a small but striking and significant piece. Holding the Elixir of Immortality, the statue symbolizes a wish for a long and happy afterlife. Mounted on a uniquely crafted frosted acrylic base, it complements any décor.

  • Antique Taoist Official Holding a Hu Tablet, China (19043QRK) $295

    H: 12.875”  W: 5”  D: 2.75” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This carving  is a Taoist official or priest wearing a traditional high hat, a high collared robe adorned with painted cobalt blue cloud designs, and an official’s belt. Seated on a modest low backless chair, he holds a long, slender and curved Hu tablet and the open cavity on the back contains its concentration slip placed there during an eye-opening ceremony. .


  • Antique Taoist Official or Priest with Hu Tablet, China (16095DRK) $245

    H: 10.5”  W: 6”  D: 4” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This image is a seated Taoist priest or official placed along with ancestor figures and other religious images on a home altar. Wearing long-flowing official’s robes with deep-folds, he ceremonially holds a hu tablet with raised arms and hands under a ritual cloth. Images were frequently damaged or darkened by incense and candle smoke from regular ritualistic offerings and were often repainted or re-lacquered as this was, probably done in the early 20th-century.

  • Antique Taoist Priest with Elixir of Life, China (14018XCK) $295

    H: 7.25”  W: 2.75”  D: 2” | FREE SHIPPING!

    Taoist priests like this were placed on home altars to bring wishes of fu – a virtuous, prosperous and long to the home in which they were placed. This vibrant figure hold a ritual cup symbolically containing the elixir of life in his left hand. The open back cavity reveals the slip that was placed there during a consecration ceremony by a taoist priest.


  • 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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