Antique/Vintage Porcelain Immortal, Chinese Republic (17035WRK)


Ht: 10”  W: 3.25”  D: 3.25” | FREE SHIPPING!

This polychrome vintage Chinese Republic porcelain figurine represents the most famous and colorful of the Taoist Eight Immortals, Lu Dongbin. He holds his fly whisk at his cheek, a traditional symbol of one who can fly at will. His face has a sweet benign smile with a long beard extending to his waist. He stands on a base with green and black swirling cloud forms indicating his ability to fly. He wears the robes of a Taoist sage in richly painted colors. The figure is in excellent condition and dates to the Republic of China Period circa 1920-1940.


The Eight Immortals were Taoist-Deities who achieved immortality using different paths, usually dwell in mountains and hills, are portrayed singly, in pairs or as a group and are common deities seen in Taoist temples. All of these immortals are folk heroes and most were actual people to whom extraordinary powers were attributed. Fly whisks were held by both Buddhist bodhisattvas and Taoist sages to whisk away flies safely and symbolize their compassion without hurting them and they are seen as a way of melting away ones problems and difficulties.; when held by Lu Dongbin (Lu Tung Pin), it symbolizes his magical powers. The Chinese name for fly whisk is yun chou meaning cloud sweeper, which describes Lu Dongbin’s magical fly whisk he uses to fly to and walk on clouds and oceans. Lu is the most popular of the Eight Immortals whose images are found in many Taoist Chinese temples. He is associated with medicine and the elixir of life and has power over evil spirits through his charms. Both his image and his two personal symbols, a sword and a fly whisk are symbols of a long life and longevity. After the Qing dynasty fell in 1912 and was replaced with the Chinese Republic, porcelain production declined in imperial kilns but was revived in Southern China’s Jiangxi Province which made high-quality finely designed Chinese Republic porcelains in private kilns. With few restraints, they produced more colorful pieces with unique Western shapes and styles. These late Qing, Republic Period and even later 20th-century porcelains are now recognized for their top-quality, clear white finishes, striking glazes and clever designs and have become highly collectible, fetching higher prices. There are 3 seals impressed in the clay on the bottom before it was fired: two spelling CHINA in English caps and the other seal in Chinese characters is also China. This figurine is part of the VA Antique-Chinese-Ceramics-and-Pottery and Deities-and-Legends Collections.


Terese Tse Bartholomew, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, San Francisco, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2006.

Collector’s Guide to Republic and 20th Century Chinese Porcelain,” 

Carolyn Ann Greene, Politics and Patronage: A Re-examination of Late Qing Dynasty Porcelain, 1850-1920, Dissertation, Phoenix, Arizona State University, 2019.


Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique/Vintage (1910-1980)



Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 10" W: 3.25" D: 3.25"

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 25.4cm W: 8.255cm D: 8.255cm


1 lb 3oz


Excellent, age approrpriate signs of wear

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size