figure (ritual & belief: representations)

Painted bronze seated figure of God of War, Guan Yu, literally translated as Emperor Guan. Depicted with red face, raised eyebrows, slanting eyes and long beard. He wears a headdress, a green robe crossed over his chest above full amour, a red belt hanging loosely at the front and platform shoes with upturned toes. He is seated with legs wide apart, both arms are bent, right hand holding his beard and the left resting on his thigh.

The donor, Dr Hildburgh, was born in New York in 1876 and died in 1956. He was a traveller and a collector of amulets, with interests in archaeology and medieval artefacts. According to an obituary in the journal 'Folklore', he recorded in his meticulous notebooks, dating from 1902, information gleaned from dealers as well as literary references and his own opinions. He was a generous benefactor to the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Folklore Society, of which he was a council member from 1909 and president for a period after the Second World War. An incomplete collection of off prints of his articles was presented by him to the Folklore Society's library in 1950 and listed in the journal 'Folklore' of that year. Dr Hildburgh donated a number of items to the Horniman Museum.

Collection Information

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