Condition: Excellent

Vintage Chinese Water Buffalo Horn Carving | Daoist Immortal Figure | 1910

This one-piece Water Buffalo Horn carving is unique, and is based on the artist’s vision and the shape and color variations of the natural material. There is wonderful detail in this piece from the tip of the horn to the bottom, in the form of a Daoist Immortal with his staff. He is dressed in his flowing robe and headdress. The bottom of the piece is plugged with a hand-fashioned stopper and the edge is incised CHINA. The natural amber hue has great depth and variation throughout the piece emphasizing the natural form. The condition of the piece is original with no scratches or damage. Dating of Horn is very difficult, although the subject typically is an indicator of country of origin and period. Dimensions: 6-0”h x 1-3/4”w x 1-1/4”d.

Additional Information—
Asia is the native home of the Water Buffalo, and carved horn represents one of a kind pieces in which the artist has taken special care to choose the right shaped horn to carve and polish into a beautiful form. Water Buffaloes are domestic farm animals across Asia. They are loved and valued as a working member of the family. Water Buffalos are never killed or harmed to just harvest their horns. When a farmer’s Water Buffalo dies at the end of a long and productive life, the horns are harvested. They are never wasted because of their importance in medical practice and religious belief.

Horn craft has a rich cultural heritage in Asia. According to archeologists, horn, or more specifically Water Buffalo horn, were among the first materials utilized for both decorative and domestic applications for hundreds of years. In China horn was carved in the images of deities, mythological figures, and sacred animals. Household items made of horn were nearly as common to the early household as plastic is to the modern household. Bas-relief carving was done with a chisel, and designs were also etched onto the surface. Today, vintage pieces are very difficult to find, and are highly sought after by collectors of Chinese artifacts.

Water Buffalo horn and Hippopotamus tooth are the only legal organic materials used in carvings currently. This is because they are regrown upon harvesting, and do not affect the animals themselves.

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