This figurine is of one of the Eight Daoist (Taoist) Immortals - "Ba xian." The eight immortals are a group of legendary, semi-historical beings in both religious Daoism and popular religion. They are said to have obtained immortality through the elixir of life, produced by alchemy by the eating of magic fruits, or through studying the secrets of nature. The Immortals, seven male and one female, might have originated already in the Han dynasty, though they were not represented in art until the Yuan dynasty. The figures are usually recognizable by their attributes. This figure is "Zhongli Quan," a military. He is characterized by his bearded face and his primary attribute, the fan. This is an early 20th century reproduction, most likely from the 1930s. Glazed in deep aubergine, gold, blue, green and yellow. Signature is written in cursive "grass script".
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