A very beautiful, very detailed Chinese root carving, this circa 1910 statue depicts an elderly Chinese fisherman who has caught a large carp (or koi). His finely carved hair is drawn up into a topknot. In his right hand he is clutching the stem of the mushroom that he's using as his parasol. Clothed in draped traditional robes, he is so happy that his eyes are squinting as he grins above his long beard. Standing in his bare feet on a plinth that has pine needle branches carved on it, this fisherman and his catch represent good fortune and abundance.*
This carving is nearly 16 inches tall, is 7 inches from front to back and 6 inches across. It weighs a little over 6 pounds and stands very steady. There are a few small age cracks and one larger one, but there are no repairs, chips or missing pieces. The rootwood has a glowing reddish brown color and lovely grain with a silky finish. This is a statue that will grace any collection.
*Note: Even though we can't see the two barbels attached to the fish's upper lip, we're calling this a carp because of its long dorsal fin, large scales and wide mouth. The Chinese word for fish sounds very similar to the character in the Chinese word which means plentiful or abundant, so the fish is a symbol of wealth. The fish you will see most often depicted is the carp or koi.