One of the “Four Auspicious” beasts in Chinese culture, the tortoise (gui 龟), or turtle, is a sign of longevity due to its long life span, as well as strength and endurance. The tortoise is associated with the north and winter. As its arch-like shell is compared to heaven and its flat underside to earth, the tortoise is said to conceal the secrets of the universe. In the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046BCE), its shell underside (plastron) was used for divination (predicting the future). Any image or design relating to a tortoise/turtle is a wish for a long life. The tortoise is associated with Zhenwu who stands on the back of a tortoise entwined with a snake.

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  • Antique Puppet Head of Queen Mother of the West, China (16800BCE) $950

    H: 17”  W: 4.25”  D: 4.5” | CALL/EMAIL FOR SHIPPING QUOTE

    Chinese puppet theatre thrived, educated and entertained people with puppets that usually had detachable heads. A very popular figure, the Queen Mother of the West is one of the highest ranking female Taoist deities venerated by women as a powerful, independent deity embodying yin (female energy) who they prayed to for health and long life. Her complex elaborate headdress includes a large outstretched tortoise atop her iconic symbol, the phoenix, all flanked by two nagas under an arch bordered with a scale like finish, a truly unique and impressive image. She is mounted on a modern contemporary frosted acrylic base.


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    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 Wood Zhenwu, The Taoist “Perfected Warrior”, China (19066BME) $575

    H: 13”  W: 5”  D: 4.875” | FREE SHIPPING!

    The Taoist god Zhenwu, the Perfected Warrior, is one of the most revered Chinese Taoist deities venerated for his ability to heal as well as to protect his country and the emperor. In this fine provincial piece he is humbly presented with a plain robe with an official’s belt wrapped around his back and over his ample stomach which more resembles a Chinese official than a deified warrior.  His face has well-defined features including the eyes and lips set in a benevolent slight smile. It was painted in polychrome and some of the original black, yellow, and red paint can be seen on the bottom.


  • Antique Zhenwu, The Taoist “Perfected Warrior,” China (16097BME) $595

      H: 12”  W: 5.625”  D: 4” | FREE SHIPPING!

    This charming and rare provincial carving represents the Emperor Zhenwu known as True Warrior or Perfected Warrior who is one of the most revered Chinese Taoist figures, venerated for his military skill and his ability to heal and protect his country. Although he generally sits on a throne with a snake under his right foot and a tortoise under his left, here his left foot rests on the tortoise’s back entwined by a snake. Covered in gilt, he wears a plain official’s robe rather than military garb, and holds a jade belt, a portrayal often mistaken as a simple official. His long black flows down his back, covering and surrounding the rear cavity.


  • 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.



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