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Chinese Animal Statues

Chinese artisans have long been masters of carving beautiful and intricate sculptures of bronze, ivory, timber, and stone. Starting from the Neolithic Period, Chinese sculptures emerged alongside pottery as a product of religion and aesthetically morphed over the course of history to embody different cultural beliefs.

While early Chinese sculptures from the Neolithic Period may have been artist attempts to recreate their surroundings, animal statues tend to hold symbolic meanings with have remained traditionally consistent over time. A pair of ducks, for example, would represent a harmonious marriage. Frogs, another very common motif, are associated with moisture and are therefore depicted in order to summon rainwater.

Animal statues can often stand alone to bring fortune, health, and protection to a household, structure, or person. Other times, combinations of materials and subject matter lead to new meanings for Chinese animal statues. Jade, compact and hard, can represent surety in Chinese tradition. The tortoise, believed to live for thousands of years, is representative of longevity. Combined, a jade sculpture of a tortoise has been thought to grant its owner long life.


Quick Facts

  • Whether to hold another object, to bring luck to a home, or even to inspire an army, Chinese animal sculptures were created with a distinct purpose
  • Excavated figures of sheep, fish, birds, and more have been dated to as far back as 4000 to 5000 B.C.
  • Hollowed out animal forms were also created during this time, most likely for rituals. Early Chinese sculptures were almost exclusively used during burials

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Nov 17, 12:00 PM EST
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Carved Hetian Jade Monkey and Peach Ornament
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Nov 14, 10:00 AM EST
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Nov 10, 10:30 AM GMT
A Chinese pale celadon jade carving of a Sampan
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Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
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Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
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Chimère Kilin assise le cou tourné vers l'arrière ciselée dans un bloc de bois.
Oct 28, 2:30 PM CEST
Chimère Kilin assise le cou tourné vers l'arrière ciselée dans un bloc de bois.
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Sellers Who Sell Chinese Animal Statues


Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC

Ander's Auction

Ander's Auction

Bonhams

Bonhams

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida