figure (ritual & belief: representations)

Gilt bronze seated figure of Dongwanggong, King Father of the Eastern Paradise, who is said to keep a register of all Daoist Immortals. He is depicted with raised eyebrows, slanting eyes and a long beard. He wears a tall headdress and a long robe with wide sleeves. He is seated with feet on the ground, both arms are bent and his hands are clasped holding an official tablet in front of his chest. There are remains of red lacquer on the back.

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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