Taotie

A Taotie (tao tie, tao tieh, t’ao t’ieh) is a mythical creature used as a decorative motif on bronze devotional and wine vessels in the Shang (1750-1045 BCE) through Zhou (1045-221 BCE) dynasties, allegedly as warnings to avoid sin, and were placed prominently in officials’ halls to remind them of the dangers of self-indulgence and gluttony. Although considered a full functioning animal, the taotie was usually a horned image with just parts of a face, composed of profiles of dragon-like beasts facing each other with bulging circular eyes and heavy eyebrows with a lei design pattern representing thunder or with an anima-like broad flat nose and an open gaping mouth with no jaw suggesting a huge capacity for swallowing. There is no consensus, but some believe it had such an appetite that it ate its own head.  It is sometimes depicted religious officials or shamans hats to warn against greed and excess and as a  guardian figure to protect against bad spirits.

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  • Sale!

    Antique Rare 5pc Piece Stoneware Altar Set, Shiwan, China (16901BLKE) $2950 SPECIAL PRICE

    Original price was: $2,950.00.Current price is: $2,300.00.
    H: 15.25″  W: 24-28 ”  D: 5″ | CALL 213-568-3030 FOR SHIPPING COST

    This rare 5 piece green glazed Shiwan stoneware altar set consists of a censor at the center flanked on each side by a pair of candlestick holders and vases. Each elegant piece has a coordinated glaze and decorative and structural designs with intricate, well-proportioned features to combine as a wish for symbolic wish for the fulfillment of all of one’s wishes including the 5-blessings (health, wealth, longevity, a virtuous life, a natural death).

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  • Antique Taoist Priest on a Horse, China (16085BCK) $795

    $795.00
    H: 13”  W: 4”  D: 7” | FREE SHIPPING

    This fine carving is likely a Taoist priest dressed in official garments astride a lively horse that was originally place on a home or community clan shrine to protect devotees. In contrast to the erect and calm priest with expressive facial features, the ornately attired horse is active as it turns his head, opens his mouth, and widens his nostrils.  The priest’s powers as a guardian figure are symbolized in his hat with a mythical taotie that wards off evil and warns against gluttony and his raised hand in prana mudra that activates vital energy flow to avert evil and bring good fortune.

  • Sale!

    Antique Wood Zhenwu the Taoist “Perfected Warrior,” China (19416XLKE) $975

    Original price was: $1,250.00.Current price is: $975.00.
    H: 15.25″  W: 6.75″  D: 6.75″ | Call 213-568-3030 for Shipping Quotation

    Zhenwu (Perfected Warrior) is one of the most important and powerful Taoist deities, god of one of the 4 cardinal directions (the north) revered for his potent magical powers to suppress demonic forces. This provincial image for personal devotion and reflects his classic iconography: seated on a throne, bare feet resting on a snake and a tortoise, a celestial scarf and maille armor. Intricately carved he has a powerful presence.

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

    $395.00
    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.

  • Stoneware Green Glazed Censer, Shiwan Kiln, China (16901C-CKE) $1450

    $1,450.00
    H: 15.25 ”    W: 7.27 ”    D:5  ”    | CALL 213-568-3030 FOR SHIPPING COST

    This vibrant stoneware Shiwan censer is the central part of a 5-piece altar set featured in our Instagram post.  Placed in a special room considered the home’s center it was used to perform ritual offerings honoring ancestors deities to bring good fortune and long life and repel malevolent energy and spirits. Jost (incense) sticks were held inside, and smoke could waft from the lid. This truly special set should be kept in tact in the home of a lucky resident to continue to foster positive feng shui.

     

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