Antique Chinese Tsai Shen Yeh woodcarved statue (Caishen 财神), 38cm high
Antique Chinese Tsai Shen Yeh woodcarved statue (Caishen 财神), 38cm high.
Worshipped in Chinese folk religion, Tsai Shen Yeh or Caishen, is known as the God of Wealth. He is particularly associated with Chinese New Year celebrations, where invoking his name is hoped to bring future prosperity. Amongst some Buddhists he is also known as Jambhala, and is also worshipped by Taoists.
This charming statue is very much in a folk art style, depicting him riding a black tiger. He brandishes a golden rod or sword to ward off evil influences, and carries a gold ingot in his left hand.
Possibly teakwood. Age worn as expected for this period. Some minor losses (See photographs). The sword/rod is detached and is held in position by a small metal screw which has been inserted into the rod. It is fortunate to have this piece at all as they are often absent.
The rear of his back has a hidden recessed compartment where small treasures could be placed for good luck.
Dimensions: 38cm high x 16cm wide x 8.5cm deep.
circa early 20th Century. Polychrome lacquer over wood, with extensive gilding.
A very unusual and charming sculpture.
Provenance: British Art Market. Private Scottish collection.