Antique Guanyin Wearing Crown with Symbolic Dyhani Buddhas, China (16557BAK)


Ht: 9.5″  W: 4.5″  D: 3.75″

This delicately carved home altar figure is Guanyin represented as gender neutral in meditation on a lotus throne.  Her humble demeanor, modest robes and absence of stylized decorative details indicate it was carved by a provincial artisan and its simple elegance exemplifies the best of provincial Ming and Qing carvings. She is a tranquil figure with simple, soft, and beautifully rendered facial details and almond shaped eyes cast down in serene composure wearing a five-lobed crown, symbolically representing the five Dyhani Buddhas and reflecting its Tantric influence.


Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion in Mahayana and Pure Land Buddhism has 33 manifestations, each who hears the cries of humanity and delivers them from suffering or desire (the root of all suffering) through her compassion, wisdom and skill, while appearing in the form suitable to those requesting  assistance. A Guanyin image is always gentle, calm and sweet, which reflects her compassion, infinite wisdom, serenity and love which calms those who are angry or in despair, comforts those who are sorrowful, and elicits feelings of love, devotion, peace and contentment to her faithful. One becomes her faithful by practicing the virtues she embodies:  kindliness, gentleness, love, mercy, compassion, charity, morality, patience, and perseverance, contemplation and by acts that benefit others.  Here she is seated in meditation (dhyana) hands placed in the lap with palms facing upwards, the right above the left, and fingers extended with thumbs touching and legs in padmasana, bare feet placed upward atop the opposing thighs on a double tiered lotus throne (padmapita). The modest simple elegant Antique-Chinese-Wood-Carving with plain robes, absence of highly stylized decorative details, simple mostly unadorned base, and humble demeanor was done by a provincial artisan far from the center of the imperial rigidity presents a calm and serene figure with beautifully rendered facial details. She wears a five-lobed crown, which symbolically represents the five Dhyani Buddhas, reflecting its Tantric influence which is somewhat rare centered by a lobe with carved rays of light indicating the Amitabha Buddha, the Buddha of Infinite Light. Guanyin is one of the Great Chinese Goddesses who epitomize the feminine role of compassionate protectors, grant health, long life and safety to all devotees regardless of their rank or status, and are syncretic deities embraced by Buddhism, Taoism and Popular Religion. The sealed bung on the rear cavity indicates it was consecrated. Most of the paint and lacquer is gone leaving  traces of red, white, flesh color morphing to beige on the face and the remaining lacquer has darkened over time. It is in very good condition with expected chips, cracks, and paint losses. Small Guanyin images made by provincial artisans were extremely popular during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, used on a home altar along with other religious statues. This delicate image is. part of the VA Spiritual-and-Inspirational Collection of Buddhist-Statues


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Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 9.5" Width: 4.5" D: 3.75

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 24.13cm W: 11.43cm D: 9.52cm


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Reference Number



1 lb 4 oz

Shipping Box Size