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Figurine - Artifacts

Image Figurine
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Three figures, carved from a hard yellow-colored material ressembling ivory; a male military or court person, a female musician, and a sage. Each figure is molded and carved from a hard plastic material which is white (see chips) and has been coated with a yellow color to make it look like aged ivory. The bottom of each figure is textured with fine parallel lines. The surfaces are carved to look slightly pitted and striated in places, to lend an organic appearance (of bone or ivory). A dark brown stain enhances detail and adds to the appearance of age. The figures may represent Immortals or other deities. A: Male figure with spear in left hand and reliquary or portable shrine in the right. The man wears a short cloth hood with a V-cut at center in the back. His garments consist of a long robe with cloud motifs, a wide sash covered with a cross-hatched pattern, a narrow belt, pants and boots. The bottom hem and middle front of the robe, and the edges of the wide sash, are trimmed with a band that has a sort of intertwined zig-zag pattern. Outlining the man is a length of flowing ribbon which arches over him from the bottom of one foot, over his head, and down to the other foot. B: Female figure with musical instrument. She holds the neck of a four-stringed instrument with her left hand and a large pick in her right. Her hair is piled in a high, three section bun which protrudes through the top of a hat she wears. Her robes are long and have the same cloud motif and zig-zag trimming that the male figure (A) above shares. Also outlining the woman is a length of flowing ribbon which arches over her in a similar manner to that of the above figure (A). On the lower back portion of the robe is a design (or writing?) carved into an oval shape. Missing from the front, lower portion of the robes are pieces carved to form thin ribbons which hang from a belt or sash and which have broken near the middle section. C: Male figure with fly whisk. The man is wearing the robes of a sage or hermit, with front pulled open to reveal a large belly and chest. His hair is tied in two knots, one on each side of the head. His hair has been parted down the center; he has a long beard and moustache. The fly whisk is attached to a fan-shaped body and may be either a Buddhist or Taoist symbol. The carving style of this figure, as well as the color of the plastic material, differs somewhat from figures A and B. A and B clearly belong to the same set. It is less clear that this figure is a part of the same group, although the striations on the bottom of the figure are the same.
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