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Subject:chinese metal statue?
Posted By: Ray Sun, Feb 26, 2017 IP: 2602:0304:cf5f:5970:

I bought this statue years ago in an antique store. Does any one know who this character is and how old this statue might be? I think the material is iron (but not sure), also there are remnants of what possibly could have been gold leaf that has come off.







Subject:Re: chinese metal statue?
Posted By: Bill H Mon, Feb 27, 2017

Your image is of Xuanwu (玄武), the "Dark Warrior", a Daoist deity who has various other names, including Zhēnwǔdàdì (真武大帝), the "True Warrior & Great Deity"), or "Zhenwu" for short. His disciples, of whom there are no few in South China, believe he offers powerful protection from enemies to his true believers.

Here's a link to a Sotheby's auction listing from a couple of years ago, where you'll find an enlightening description and a enlargeable photo of a Ming dynasty bronze of the deity. Your example, which superficially resembles bronze more than iron, looks to be well-enough made to the prevailing iconic specifications for this deity, but I'm unsure as to whether the patina on its exterior is entirely natural or not. There seems to be a bigger difference between the patina on the exposed and unexposed surfaces than I would expect on anything like this that was made by traditional lost wax casting methods and sufficiently long ago to be called a true antique. But lets see what others more seasoned bronze collectors have to say.

Best regards,

Bill H.


URL Title :Zhenwu


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Subject:Re: chinese metal statue?
Posted By: Ray Tue, Feb 28, 2017

Thank you very much for the info. I did some google search using the names in your reply but I haven't found the same exact shape yet, but found a few that are close. I hope it is really from the Ming dynasty. By the way, this statue is only 8 inches high. I posted better quality images here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/au2rscs2cn0vfzv/AAAex0gMP5WOytZuJnm3FzGka?dl=0

Subject:Re: chinese metal statue?
Posted By: pipane Mon, Feb 27, 2017

Bronze figure of taoist immortal, ming dynasty.
Good pick

Subject:Re: chinese metal statue?
Posted By: Ray Tue, Feb 28, 2017

Wow that is really exciting if it is genuine Ming, because I don't think I paid more than 30-40 bucks for it.

Subject:Re: chinese metal statue?
Posted By: Michael Banyai Mon, Jun 05, 2017

Bill was perfectly right. It is a representation of Xuangwu, Ming dynsty. There are rests of gilding on your bronze.

Subject:Re: chinese metal statue?
Posted By: Ray Sat, Sep 09, 2017

You guys were right. I asked about this statue from a couple of auction houses and they said it is late Ming with a value between $1K-$2K if I decide to list it in an auction.


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