Explore highlights
Daoist shrine


Height: 49.500 cm

Gift of Sir Percival David

Asia OA 1929.1-14.1

Room 33: Asia


    Daoist shrine

    From Longquan kilns, Zhejiang province, south-eastern China
    Ming dynasty, Yongle period, dated AD 1406

    Shrine models like this were produced in China during the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) and the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). This is one of the most impressive surviving examples. It represents a collection of Daoist and popular deities, the groupings are in the style of Buddhist art.

    The shrine is extravagantly carved with stylized clouds that frame the separate grottoes. In the lower grotto is the God of the Eastern Peak, with attendants and guardians. In the middle are the Jade Emperor, Taiyi, the originating principle, and Laozi, the first Daoist sage. On the top, an immortal or arhat rides a mythical beast. The figures are also gilded and lacquered.

    On the reverse are nine holes and an incised inscription meaning, 'Made on an auspicious day in the 4th year of the Yongle period' (AD 1406).

    J. Harrison-Hall, Ming ceramics (London, The British Museum Press, 2001)

    S.J. Vainker, Chinese pottery and porcelain, (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)


    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    On display: Room 33: Asia

    Shop Online

    The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor, £9.99

    The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor, £9.99