The Old Man with a kid - modern
statue in Zitan
This modern Madagascar zitan carving is called "shou-xing-tong-zi-xiang"
in Chinese, a familiar image that symbolizes longevity and happiness.
He is an old man known as "shou-xing", or the longevity man, holding
a "ru-yi" motif stick on one hand and a peach, an emblem of longevity,
on the other hand. The little boy next holds a scroll that is carved
with four characters, representing "happiness, longevity, health
and peace" respectively. The back of the carving reveals the dark
reddish purple color intermixing with black grain pattern, a sure
sign of Madagascar zitan. The wood will become darker as the object
ages, finally reaching full darkish purple to complete black in
the coming years. Like most high quality zitan carvings done by
skilled artisans, this one has several intricate details that subtly
suggest the carving artist has gone great length to provide interest
for close appreciation. The long rope "Shou-xing" wears is resplendently
decorated with small designs and the 'ru-yi" stick has an irregular
shape and hollow in parts to provide a natural look. The stand that
supports the child and the old man is decorated with the "mei-hua"
flower, a motif for happiness. Finally, at the back of the statue,
a little knot is hanging down, from the waist side of the rope,
adding more visual interest and animation. A quality zitan carving
that brings good Feng-Shui to a household. Base diameter: 5.31";
Height: 13.78"; Weight: 4 pounds.