Antique Guanyin a Holding Scroll, China


This outstanding delicately carved Mahayana Buddhism image is Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, seated in the position of royal ease (lalitsana) on a rocky throne, a reference to her cave home the island of Putuo in the Southern China Sea. Masterfully carved, she has gentle curves thrusting her weight in opposing directions in a lyrical posture. Her refined outstretched right hand with gentle elongated fingers rests on her right knee and her left extends across her body to hold a scroll, a common iconographic symbol of the Lotus Sutra, one of the Buddhist scriptures where her deeds and powers are enumerated or the Dharma which she constantly reads. Portrayed as a mature compassionate woman in serene repose, her delicate face has half-closed almond eyes, pursed lips, and full cheeks. Her hair is atop her head in a chignon and she wears a loose robe open at the chest and tied at the waist. The deeply carved folds of the robe and the patterns on the rocky outcrop on which she sits exemplify its superior craftsmanship   Her flowing robe has much original paint  and the piece is in very good condition with normal signs of wear for its age and use including minor paint loses.



Guanyin the Bodhisattva of Compassion, other than the Buddha, is the most revered deity In Mahayana Buddhism. She has 33 manifestations and can appear in any form appropriate for the devotee seeking her aid. Although she is portrayed standing or seated, most devotees prefer her seated which imparts both a serene and dignified feeling, which is the very picture of enlightenment. In Guanyin Images her face is always gentle, calm and sweet, reflecting infinite wisdom, serenity, love and compassion and has the capacity to calm those who are angry or in despair, comfort those who are sorrowful, and brings forth feelings of love, devotion and contentment. Her almond eyes are shown half-closed  which indicates her perfect harmony of outer and inner life:  half of her vision focuses on the outer world, while the other half is focuses internally for self-reflection. She is often shown in lalitsana, the position of royal ease symbolizing that as a regal personage, she presides over the material world and its possessions as well as the spiritual world. She often hold a scroll which may represent the dharma which she constantly reads or the Lotus Sutra that focuses on Guanyin as protector of the world in the time between the departure of Buddha Shakyamuni and the appearance of the future Buddha, Maitreya. Buddhist statues of enlightened beings are placed in temples, monasteries or home shrines as a reminder of the spiritual potential inherent within all of us.




Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18th century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 14.5” W: 6.5” D: 5.5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 36.83cm W: 15.24cm D: 13.97cm


3 lbs 1 oz


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number



12” to 17.9”

Shipping Box Size