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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

Recommended Items at Auction

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A CHINESE QINGBAI MODEL OF A RECUMBENT HOUND Song Dynasty (960-1279)
Apr 29, 6:00 PM AEST
A CHINESE QINGBAI MODEL OF A RECUMBENT HOUND Song Dynasty (960-1279)
by Leonard Joel
Est: AUD500- AUD700
AUD6504 Bids
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NON-COMPOSITE POLYCHROME PAINTED CHINESE HAND-CARVED PHEASANT ON STAND, MINOR LOSSES TO FEET
Apr 26, 9:00 AM AEST
NON-COMPOSITE POLYCHROME PAINTED CHINESE HAND-CARVED PHEASANT ON STAND, MINOR LOSSES TO FEET
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD253 Bids
A CHINESE BRONZE BRAVEBULL SCULPTURE.
Apr 28, 11:00 AM EDT
A CHINESE BRONZE BRAVEBULL SCULPTURE.
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $600- $800
$2252 Bids
2 Chinese Duck Figures
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
2 Chinese Duck Figures
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$32 Bids
Chinese Porcelain Bird Figure
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Porcelain Bird Figure
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$22 Bids
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A FINE STONE MADE LION FIGURE DECORATION
May 05, 10:00 AM EDT
A FINE STONE MADE LION FIGURE DECORATION
by William's Auctions, LLC
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
A FINE CHINESE BEAUTY PORCELAIN CARVING.
Apr 28, 11:00 AM EDT
A FINE CHINESE BEAUTY PORCELAIN CARVING.
by Metropolitan Auction of Art Inc.
Est: $1,800- $4,000
$7501 Bid
Kirstie Alley Estate Huge 22in. Cloisonne Rooster Pair Old Chinese Qing to Republic COA
May 11, 12:00 PM EDT
Kirstie Alley Estate Huge 22in. Cloisonne Rooster Pair Old Chinese Qing to Republic COA
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $600- $1,200
$101 Bid
1TH-3RD CENTURY HAN DYNASTY PAINTED POTTERY DUCK STATUE
Apr 28, 8:00 AM PDT
1TH-3RD CENTURY HAN DYNASTY PAINTED POTTERY DUCK STATUE
by DotDot Art Gallery Inc
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
A GROUP OF 1ST CENTURY TO THE 3RD CENTURY PAINTED POTTERY BIRDS AND GILT BRONZE BIRDS, HAN DYNASTY
Apr 28, 8:00 AM PDT
A GROUP OF 1ST CENTURY TO THE 3RD CENTURY PAINTED POTTERY BIRDS AND GILT BRONZE BIRDS, HAN DYNASTY
by DotDot Art Gallery Inc
Est: $100- $200
$1001 Bid
Oriental Cloisonne Duck & Stone Duck
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Oriental Cloisonne Duck & Stone Duck
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Pair of Chinese Export Porcelain Cranes
May 02, 11:00 AM EDT
Pair of Chinese Export Porcelain Cranes
by Willow Auction House
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
FIGUR: China, 20. Jh.
May 01, 2:00 PM CEST
FIGUR: China, 20. Jh.
by Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG
Est: CHF250- CHF500
CHF2401 Bid
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Pair Chinese Cloisonne Phoenix Figures
May 04, 10:00 AM CDT
Pair Chinese Cloisonne Phoenix Figures
by J. Garrett Auctioneers
Est: $100- $25,000
$1001 Bid
Chinese Hand Carved Jade Stone/Pebble Paper Weight with Deer
Apr 27, 11:00 AM EDT
Chinese Hand Carved Jade Stone/Pebble Paper Weight with Deer
by Denise Ryan Auction Co.
Est: $25- $500
$101 Bid
Chinese Porcelain Duck Figure
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Porcelain Duck Figure
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
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A CREAMY RUSSET JADE CARVING OF A RECUMBENT CHILONG Ming Dynasty
May 14, 10:00 AM BST
A CREAMY RUSSET JADE CARVING OF A RECUMBENT CHILONG Ming Dynasty
by Bonhams
Est: £800- £1,200
£2001 Bid
Rare Pair of Chinese Export Blanc-De-Chine Cats
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Rare Pair of Chinese Export Blanc-De-Chine Cats
by STAIR
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0001 Bid
Chinese Porcelain Goose Figure
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Porcelain Goose Figure
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
CHINESE CARVED FIGURAL GROUP
May 08, 11:00 AM EDT
CHINESE CARVED FIGURAL GROUP
by ACES Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$1801 Bid
Chinese Porcelain Duck Figure
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Porcelain Duck Figure
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Very Large Eagle Statue, Xuande Mark, Early Ming
May 17, 9:00 PM WIB
Very Large Eagle Statue, Xuande Mark, Early Ming
by Chinese Imperial Porcelain
Est: $100,000- $200,000
$1,8001 Bid
Chinese Ming Dynasty Stone Baluster Finial w/ Monkeys
Apr 26, 8:00 AM MDT
Chinese Ming Dynasty Stone Baluster Finial w/ Monkeys
by Artemis Gallery
Est: $1,600- $2,400
$8001 Bid
Chinese Carved Jade Bat
Apr 25, 10:00 AM EDT
Chinese Carved Jade Bat
by Brunk Auctions
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chinese Animal Statues


Merces Gallery LLC

Merces Gallery LLC

Jumbo Auction House

Jumbo Auction House

DotDot Art Gallery Inc

DotDot Art Gallery Inc

Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc

Walnut Tree Auction House, Inc