Old Man of the South Pole：A Traditional Handmade Thuja Sutchuenensis Wood Carving Taoist Statue
Lot No. ：XZG-SP-171219
Feature：The Old Man of the South Pole (1*) , handmade, wood carving (2*), Chinese Thuja Sutchuenensis(3*).
1* The Old Man of the South Pole is the Taoist deification of Canopus, the brightest star of the constellation Carina.It is the symbol of happiness and longevity in Far Eastern culture. The Old Man of the South Pole is often depicted in the Chinese pictures as an old man with a long white beard, with a deer by his side. This style of picture is related to the story of an emperor of the Northern Song Dynasty who had invited such an old man from the street and later considered the old man as the sign of his longevity. Canopus is usually called in Chinese the Star of the Old Man or the Star of the Old Man of the South Pole. Since Carina is a Southern constellation, Canopus is rarely seen in Northern China and, if seen in good weather, looks reddish lying near the southern horizon. Because the color red is the symbol of happiness and longevity in China, Canopus is also known in China and its neighboring countries of Korea, Japan and Vietnam as the Star of Old Age or the Star of the Man of the Old Age.
2* The making of sculpture in wood has been extremely widely practiced but survives much less well than the other main materials such as stone and bronze, as it is vulnerable to decay, insect damage, and fire. It therefore forms an important hidden element in the art history of many cultures. Outdoor wood sculptures do not last long in most parts of the world, so that we have little idea how the totem pole tradition developed. Many of the most important sculptures of China and Japan in particular are in wood, and the great majority of African sculpture and that of Oceania and other regions. Wood is light and can take very fine detail so it is highly suitable for masks and other sculpture intended to be worn or carried. Some of the finest extant examples of early European wood carving are from the Middle Ages in Germany, Russia, Italy and France, where the typical themes of that era were Christian iconography. In England, many complete examples remain from the 16th and 17th century, where oak was the preferred medium. The type of wood is important. Hardwoods are more difficult to shape but have greater luster and longevity. Softer woods may be easier to carve but are more prone to damage. Any wood can be carved but they all have different qualities and characteristics.
3* Thuja sutchuenensis is a species of thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae. It is native to China, where it is an endangered local endemic in Chengkou County (Chongqing Municipality, formerly part of Sichuan province), on the southern slope of the Daba Mountains.
For more information, visit Wooden Wonders