Antique Chinese Buffalo Horn Carving

Antique Chinese Water Buffalo Horn Carving | Daoist Immortal Figure


Age:1910 (Quin Dynasty)

Descriptive qualities& condition:

Dimensions: 9-0”h x 2-1/4””w x 1-3/4”d

This large single piece of carved Animal Horn 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 hat. The bottom of the piece is unplugged. The natural amber hue has great depth and variation throughout the piece as shown in the images. The condition of the piece is excellent and original with no scratches or damage. Determining age of Horn is very difficult, although the subject and workmanship typically is an indicator of country of origin and period as noted, and is only the opinion of the seller.

Vintage Condition: Beautifully aged and, “as is”, and retains the original craft/workmanship. Any discoloration, chipping/cracking, surface wear or structural damage noted. 

NOTE: 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 beautiful forms. 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 carvings, were among the first materials utilized for both decorative and practical applications for hundreds of years. In China Horn was carved in the images of deities, mythological figures, and sacred animals. Bas-relief carving was done with a chisel, and designs were also etched onto the surface.

Water Buffalo Horn and other similar horn are like fingernails and replace themselves. Animals that have misshapen horns that are injurious to them are sometime cut off and reused as artistic sculptures celebrating their unusual shape. This does not overlook the ruthless killing of animals for their horn which many countries have laws against such practice.