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20th C. Chinese Soapstone Sculpture - God of Wisdom

East Asia, China, ca. first half of the 20th century CE. A lovely hand-carved soapstone depiction of Shou Xin Gong, the Chinese god of wisdom, old age, and longevity, standing atop a tall three-sided platform carved from a mottled beige stone with dark inclusions. The elder god wears a lengthy flowing robe while holding a tall staff of longevity, with a large bald head, squinting eyes, projecting cheek bones, and a wispy mustache comprising his visage. In his left hand rests the peach of immortality, a mythical fruit that is said to bloom only once every 3,000 years. Portrayals of Shou Xin Gong are generally regarded as good fortune for lengthy lives, and effigies of his likeness are typically kept in a meditation garden. Size: 4.5" W x 10.875" H (11.4 cm x 27.6 cm).

Condition: Surface wear and minor abrasions commensurate with age, and very minor nicks to base and body, otherwise intact and very good. Light earthen deposits throughout.

Provenance: private San Francisco, California, USA collection

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