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Chinese Carved Coral Figure of Shou Lao, Early 20th Century



A wonderfully carved coral branch in the form of Shou Lao, also called Shouxing, the Chinese god of longevity, Republic period, early 20th century. Intricately carved from a single large branch of pinkish orange coral, the jovial Shou Lao is depicted with a hearty smile and long beard, standing in front of a gnarled pine tree. The God of Longevity can be identified by his enlarged cranium (symbolizing the vast knowledge he has accumulated in his long life) and the Chinese character "Shou" on his robes. He holds a peach in one hand, a twisted staff surmounted by a double gourd in the other. To his side, a crane and a dove roost comfortably upon another pine branch. The caving is filled with auspicious symbols. The pine tree, peach, dove and crane all symbolize longevity, while the double gourd identifies Shou Lao as an Immortal in the Taoist pantheon. This coral craving was most likely created as a birthday gift, wishing the recipient a long life. More specially, with the image of the dove, this was probably a 70th birthday gift. The carving is unmounted. Weight of coral: 325.5 grams


  • Dimensions
    Height: 6.5 in. (16.51 cm)Width: 7 in. (17.78 cm)Depth: 1 in. (2.54 cm)
  • Style
    Qing (In the Style Of)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1920s
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Excellent condition, with no chips, cracks or repairs noted.
  • Seller Location
    Austin, TX
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU894713755042

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Austin, TX
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Austin, TX

Founded in 2001, Lotus Gallery offers a carefully curated selection of furniture, jewelry, sculpture and works of art spanning millennia, continents and cultures. Although it seeks out beauty in all its forms, they specialize in Asian antiquities, especially Chinese pieces from the Han and Tang dynasties and chinoiserie. Based in Austi...

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Established in 2001
1stDibs seller since 2010
163 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
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