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Rare Chinese Ming Dynasty 14th-15th Century Zhang Guo Lao Wood Figure

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Seller: tjantiquties (1,177) 98.6%, Location: Tucson, Arizona, Ships to: US, Item: 371785584843 Rare Chinese Ming Dynasty 14th-15th Century Zhang Guo Lao Wood Figure This is a rare wood figure of Zhang Guo Lao from the Ming Dynasty. Zhang Guo Lao or Elder Zhang Guo is one of the Eight Immortals. Of the Eight Immortals he, along with Chung-li Ch'uan and Lu Yen, was a real historical figure. His existence is said to have begun around the middle or end of the seventh century AD, and ended approximately in the middle of the eighth. Elder Zhang Guo was a Taoist fangshi (occultist-alchemist) who lived as a hermit in Heng Prefecture during the Tang Dynasty. He was a believer in the magic of necromancy. Zhang Guo Lao also had a love for wine and winemaking. He was also known to be a master of Taoist Breath or Qigong and could go without food for days, surviving on only a few sips of wine. Zhang Guo Lao appears frequently in Chinese paintings and sculpture, either with the Eight Immortals or alone, and, like the other immortals, can be seen in many different common artistic mediums and everyday objects. His emblem is a Yü Ku, or fish drum, which is a tube-shaped bamboo drum with two iron rods or mallets that he carries with him, or carrying a phoenix feather or a peach, representing immortality. Since he represents old age, in the Taoist Feng Shui tradition a picture or statue of Zhang Guo can be placed in the home or bedroom of an elderly person to help bring them a long life and a good, natural death. Zhang Guo Lao is shown on top of a tall pedestal. He is sitting in a chair. His left foot is on the ground. His right foot on top of what is either a human faced foo dog or a human squatted on all fours. His left arm is up holding what appears to be a fish drum that Zhang Guo Lao is often depicted holding. The figure is shown in a long flowing tunic. He has a long beard and wears a large flat fronted headpiece. I believe that this figure is early Ming Dynasty 14th-15th century. The depth and tone of the oxidation shows it could easily be this old. The shallow carving in the design is classic early Ming Dynasty style. The clothes and headpiece are in the style of the late 14th century and 15th century. Figures of Zhang Guo Lao are rarely seen particularly from the early Ming Dynasty. This particular figure is interesting in that it shows a human “under foot”. Since Zhang Guo Lao is a symbol of death this may be symbolizing the burden of death on humans. A depiction I have not seen before. This figures shows its age. The wood is heavily oxidized which would be expected on a wood figure 600 years old. Some worm damage on the base. The figure shows heavy wear on the face and head where it would have been touched. The left arm, which was pegged so that it could be moved up and down, is missing. This is a magnificent figure that could easily be in a museum. It provides a significant insight into perceptions of death and one of the Seven Immortals early in the Ming Dynasty. It would be a major addition to a Ming Dynasty figure collection. Dimensions: Height 10 7/16 inches (27 cm), Width 4 inches (10.3 cm), Depth 2 9/16 inches (7 cm). If you have any questions or require additional information please call me at 520-429-0177. Note: For International sales, buyer is responsible for shipping and import duty taxes. I insure all International sales and am happy to waive right of reimbursement to the buyer if items are broken. I do not provide shipping refunds on International sales. I also do not pay for return shipping on any sales. I do provide refund (no questions asked) of the initial purchase price of an item once it is returned. Please provide tracking information and insurance if items are returned. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

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