Chinese and Japanese Asian Art by David Hawkes
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Chinese Boxwood Zhenwu, 17th ~ 18th C.

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Pre 1800: item # 368697

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Hawkes, Asian Art
Watchet, Somerset
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1984 633813

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Chinese Boxwood Zhenwu, 17th  ~ 18th C.
A GOOD CHINESE BOXWOOD FIGURE OF ZHENWU, 17th ~ 18th CENTURY.

Zhenwu, also known as the Perfected Warrior, is the Daoist God of the North. His attributes are the turtle and the snake. In the Ming dynasty he was adopted as the protector of the Imperial household. He is also the patron saint of Wudang Mountain in China's Hubei Province.

Zhenwu is depicted in a seated position as befits a person of his stature. One foot is resting on the tortoise, the snake rearing before him. His throne is composed of angular rocks. The style of the carving with the emphasis on the patterns in the armour is reminiscent of bronze depictions of warriors in the Ming dynasty. The control of the knife exhibited by the carver is extemporary, the quality is superb. The sculpture in reality is much darker than my photographs suggest, the photographic lights make it appear lighter. Though having some condition problems, this figure is very well worth restoring properly; no doubt someone used to working with netsuke would be able to handle this easily.

10.3/4 inches high. Some light age cracking. From the top: chips to hair, left hand missing, sword blade missing, tiny chip to one toe on each foot.

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