Origin: China. Circa: Late Qing, 19th century
W 15 in. (38cm.), H 11.5 in. (29cm.), D 7.5 in. (18cm.)
Lacquer and gilt loss, overall very good condition.
The acolyte of Guan Yin Bodhisattva Sudhana on the back of the Qilin, holding a wish-granting ruyi scepter and a longevity peach. With remnants of gilt over red lacquer on the Golden-Boy. The Qilin has the head of a dragon. The tail of a foo dog lion. Its opened jaws are baring large fangs, with layers of circular-shaped scales blazing with fire. The creature is vigorous in appearances and crisp in form, ferocious but not threatening. Unimpeded in their sojourn, together, the two immortals have transformed into an elegant gilt bronze censer, an auspicious Feng Shui symbol designated as a centerpiece for a home or office.
Qilin, also known as Chinese Unicorn, is a mythical animal of good omen. Like the dragon, phoenix, and tortoise. It is the symbol of grandeur, longevity, wisdom, and benevolence. According to legend, Qilin is a reincarnated essence of five elements. Qilin does not consume carrion and drinks only morning dew. They are solitary creatures and appear to humankind only when a king of benevolence is on the throne, or when a sage is about to be born. A Qilin is said to have appeared in the halcyon days of the emperors Yao and Shun (7000-5000 years B.C.) and seen when the sage Confucius was born (551-479 B.C.).