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Taoist Kitchen Deity

Chinese Polychrome Wood Buddha
Taoist w. Scepter
Kitchen God Shrine Statue
Circa: Ming-early Qing, 17th-18th Century
H 12" (30.5cm.), W 5.5" (14cm.), D 3" (7.5cm.)
Condition: crack, losses

A very old carving, worn with age but with only minor losses, the main body and the portrait-quality face intact; worn down to a dappled softness. The deity he wears the painted official’s cap, the high-collared long-sleeved robe, the thick belt. He was likely worshipped as the Kitchen God. His importance is further indicated by his seat upon a high backless throne. The statue was first painted with red lacquer, then black lacquer was applied, with additional pigments over the second layer. Much of the red remains. The figure holds a sceptre of office in his right hand, and left a gold piece, with traces of fine cord wound around a projection at the upper end. On the Taoist deity ’s chin and in front of the ears are remnants of a human hair beard.

 

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