Jade Emperor Altar Figure

c. 1750
$680 USD
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W: 4.5" D: 3.0" H: 7.5"
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This 18th-century carved wooden figure likely depicts the Jade Emperor, the supreme monarch of heaven and earth in Chinese folklore and Taoist mythology. Ruler of all deities and benevolent defender of humanity, the Jade Emperor is considered one of the first gods and closely associated with Chinese creation myths.

This form of small carved figure is intended as a focus for ritual worship and would have been placed at the center of an altar laden with food offerings and burning incense. The Jade Emperor is depicted here seated upon a throne with imperial attire and originally held a tablet in both hands. The precious carving dates to the mid- to late-18th century, as evidenced by the aged material and well-worn polychrome finish.

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