This figure is exceptionally well-carved with details meticulously rendered, particularly evident on the thread-like, silky beard and graceful folds of the robe. Very few carved figures from the Qing dynasty are of such substantial size, and the jade boulder is extraordinarily even in tone, well-polished with a soft sheen. While Shoulao represents the Star God of Longevity in the Daoist Pantheon, the deer accompanying him in this carving is a homophone for lu, ‘wealth’; and the bat hovering above is a homophone for fu, ‘happiness’. Together, the imagery represents Longevity, Wealth and Happiness.
A slightly smaller white jade carving of a Luohan (23.7 cm.), similarly carved with a voluminous robe with multiple folds, is in the Qing Court Collection and now in the Palace Museum (fig. 1), illustrated in The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Jadeware (III), Hong Kong, 1995, no. 108. Compare also a smaller white jade carving (15.5 cm.) depicting the Star God of Longevity and Star God of Happiness together, also from the same collection, illustrated ibid., no. 106.