A soapstone figure of Guandi
Kangxi period, 1662–1722, China
清康熙 1662-1722 中國
Height: 25 cm, 9.8 inches
Carved from a mottled ivory stone with red inclusions, the ‘God of War’ is seated on a tiger pelt that is draped over an armchair. His raised right hand holds the end of his long beard, and the left hand supports an open book at which Guandi glances – his head at a tilt and an amused expression on his face; his hair is held in place by a cloth cap tied with a bow. He wears a long flowing robe incised with dragons amongst clouds, and secured by a belt over his elaborate and finely worked armour – his right boot fully revealed.