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18th C. Chinese Lacquered Wood Seated Guardian Figure

East Asia, China, Qing Dynasty, ca. 18th to 19th century CE. A handsome seated wooden guardian figure, painted and lacquered in black, white, and red, with some gilding still visible on his armor. He sits atop a carved stylized rocky outcrop with symmetrical scrollwork flourishes on either side. He wears armor consisting of a heavy cuirass and removable helmet, and holds a removable two-part spear. There is an open cavity in his back where he once held a scroll. He would have once been part of a temple's decorative architecture, serving as a protector and receptacle for prayers. Size: 8.75" W x 21" H (22.2 cm x 53.3 cm)

Condition: Helmet is separate from the rest of the figure; back of helmet has been repaired, with repair well done and difficult to see. Item held in his hand is in two pieces and can also be removed from the hand, with some wear at the join. The wood in general is weathered, with nice remains of original surface pigment, gilding, and lacquer. No overpainting or restoration.

Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private J.S. collection, Rhode Island, USA

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