Polychrome Gilded Wood Buddha
Late Ming-Earlt Qing, 17th-18th Century
11.5" (29cm.), W 5" (12.5cm.), D 3.5" (9cm.)
Condition: paint, gilt, weapon losses
Star God of Affluence Tsai Sheng and his Black Tiger motif is one of the most
recurring themes in Chinese folk art and sculpture. His shrines are practically
worshipped in every home in China. As recorded in Chinese legend, he is considered
to be the sage Pi Kan of the 12th century B.C., who reproved the evil conducts
of emperor Chou Hsin of the last Shang dynasty (16th century-1050 B.C.), whereupon
the emperor ordered the sage's heart cut out in order to prove if there were seven
orifices, as commonly believed to be the case in the heart of great integrity.
a powerful presence emanating from this small statue, this gilt and lacquered
wood carving of the God of Wealth evidently has been used for home shrine worship
for hundreds of years. Remaining in his left hand, the Star God is holding a gold
piece; but the sword which once held in the raised right hand, and certain ritual
offering embedded in the hallowed space in the back of the statue have since missing.
Dispite its age, there are large portions of gilt remaining, and the lacquered
wood carving is well preserved in excellent condition.