June 23, 2014

Antique Chinese Carved Stone Buddha Head Statue, Or Not?

Antique Chinese Carved Stone Budda Head Statue
Not only do I collect Buddhist statues, figurines and other Buddhist relics, etc, but I also happen to also be Buddhist, although I do also follow the philosophies of Confucianism and Taoism as well, however, for the most part, I consider myself a secular Buddhist, although I do regularly chant many mantra while meditating, such as om mani padme hum, and nam myoho renge kyo, etc..   I have only been on this path actively and seriously for the last 16 months now, however, did previously consider and question Buddhism, so I am still learning more and more each day and haven't yet decided on any specific tradition, sect, etc although I am leaning more towards those of Mahayana traditions even though Esoteric and other schools are appealing.  I find various aspects of many forms of Buddhism fascinating, therefore, have not been able to settle for just one single form.  I initially began exploring Soto Zen, but shortly thereafter progressed to Mahayana.


.   For the past year now I have been wanting a carved stone Buddha head, but could not find any locally.    Certainly there's an abundance of them available online, yet they tend to be pricey, and often I get the feeling that the seller or dealer is making very deceptive claims in order to inflate their selling price.   I for some reason chose not to buy one online, something I rarely do anyway, because I would much rather see the item in person when making a purchase.

So, yesterday afternoon I went out on a treasure hunt and visited some antique shops to see what I could find, and among the few items I purchased was this carved stone Buddha head statue, however, can I assume it's an antique just because it came from an antiques store?  Afterall, the dealer had no freaking clue, as usual, how old it was, nor anything else specific about it, other than "it's Chinese"... and considering the fact that he had about a half dozen of them, all of them very similar to each other,  perhaps maybe they're not really that old.   I honestly don't know.

Antique Chinese Carved Stone Budda Head StatueAntique Chinese Carved Stone Budda Head Statue

Antique Chinese Carved Stone Budda Head StatueAntique Chinese Carved Stone Budda Head Statue

Antique Chinese Carved Stone Budda Head Statue


The carved stone Buddha head stature is 5 1/2" high and weighs a few pounds.  I don't know the exact weight since I do not have a scale, but it feels like at least a few pounds, maybe up to 5;bs, but that's just a guess.








  So, wanting to know the going price for these carved stone Buddha head statues and trying to figure out how old my carved stone Buddha head might be, I began looking around, because I'm very curious by nature, I love learning, and need to know as much as I can about each and every piece in my collection.


I was shocked to see one very similar to mine on eBay with a buy it now of $799, and it's nearly identical to the one I have.   The seller says it is made of Chinese Schist stone, a mixture of quartz and gray stone.  Whether he is correct or not, I have no idea, but I'm curious to know whether or not mine is also Schist stone, and if not, what kind of stone is it?.    On this particular listing for the carved stone Buddha head, the seller claims it is 18th century Qing dynasty and claims it is from 1750s to early 1800s.. and then he claims it is an "uncommon piece",  yet, if uncommon, why did I find at least 6 nearly identical ones in a single store, and then there's another nearly identical one from in eBayer located in China, claiming it to be "old" and selling for $129, and then there's a US based eBayer who has sold multiple carved stone Buddha heads, and has a currently active listing for another one at $39.49 with free shipping, and it's listed as being "new".

  So, the question is, is my carved stone Buddha head an antique or not?  Come to think of it, is it actually carved, or is it possible to be cast from mold using some form of liquid stone mix that hardens much like how concrete works?  How exactly does one even determine the age and or period of carved stone anyway?  I have no idea, nor do I particularly care, well I do, sort of, but the most important thing for me was to have a stone Buddha head, regardless of how old it is, and that's what matters to me....  but I'd still like to know if it's an antique or not, because if it is, I'd possibly consider buying the other 5 for resale considering the prices some of them are listed for, or even to use as trading for other antiques, etc... but more important than that is to document its age and value etc for my future estate since everything I own will be left to my daughter.

Here's the carved stone Buddha heads on eBay that I refer to in this post:
Antique Chinese Carved Stone Budda Head Statue Antique Chinese Carved Stone Budda Head StatueChinese Carved Stone Buddha Head

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