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Truly a decorative piece, the image of Laughing Buddha with children is carved out soapstone. For decorative use only, the kettle measures 6 inches wide and 4.5 inches tall. The image of the Laughing Buddha is based on a wandering Chinese monk, Budai (Hotei, in Japanese) who lived centuries ago and is believed to be Maitreya, or the Buddha to come. The statue's plump figure and benign countenance suggest contentment, magnanimity and plenitude. The Buddha's children represent good descendants and family luck. Handmade, minor defects and variations are common, and add artistic individuality to each piece.