Four iron statues dated by inscription to the Ming Dynasty, China, (1491 A.D.) were investigated for their metal composition and coating structures. The investigation was initiated with the intent of ascertaining whether any prior treatment had been done and to determine the present condition of the objects. During visual examination and simple surface cleaning, it became apparent that the objects had some form of surface decoration and polychrome. On closer examination, gilding, lacquer, and traces of pigment around the hat, eyes, and garments were visible. A sample of the metal was taken for metallography and chemical compositional analysis. Samples were taken from the surface of the four objects to identify the composition of the observed decoration and corrosion. The results revealed that the statues are white cast iron and were fully decorated with multiple colours and gilding as well as being sequentially lacquered. Recommendations for the cleaning and conservation of these and similar objects are given.