Antique Guanyin with Lobed Crown, China (16151LME)


H: 11.625″  W: 5.325″  D: 4.25″  | FREE SHIPPING!

Made for placement on a home altar, this small Guanyin sits in a lotus position (padmasana) feet upward and exposed, hands clasped in anjali mudra of prayer, reverence, respect. With a full face and downcast eyes, she is depicted in modest provincial style with symbols of her bodhisattva status: a 5-lobed diadem, hair in a chignon, braids draping down her shoulders, and a flowing robe. Her pendulous ears are a sign of wisdom, her ability to hear the cries of sentient beings, and her spiritual awakening. The two-part lotus throne is well carved as is the rest of the image.


Lee Irvin calls Guanyin one of the Great Chinese Goddesses who are all imperially sanctioned and epitomize the feminine role of compassionate protectors who grant health, long life and safety to all regardless of their social position. Each has large temples, monasteries and small local shrines dedicated to them. In this antique-Chinese-wood-carving of Guanyin her hands are clasped in front of the heart in anjali (“Sanskrit for “divine offering”) the mudra of prayer, reverence, respect, and also the universal greeting in the Buddhist world. She sits on a two part waisted padmapitha lotus throne with each part covered with  individual lotus pedals.  The lotus is the Buddhist symbol of purity, spontaneous generation, and divine birth as well as the flowering of the mind and freedom from the darkness of this world and usually appears only with enlightened beings.  Like a human effort to reach enlightenment to which the lotus is compared,  it  grows out of mud and sludge into a flower of striking beauty. The Lalitavistara Sutra states “the spirit of man can be spotless, like the new lotus in the muddy water which does not adhere to it.” The carved back cavity back is sealed with the cover (bung) placed when it was consecrated although its contents may have been removed, as the area around the cavity is rough and not as smoothly finished as the rest of the piece. It is in good condition commensurate with its age with most of its gilt, pigment, and lacquer extant with expected minor chips, hairline cracks, and paint and lacquer losses.

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Lee Irwin, “Divinity and Salvation: The Great Goddesses of China,” in Asian Folklore Studies, Indiana University, Vol. 49, 1990, pp 53-68.

Additional information

Weight 6 lbs
Dimensions 11 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

11.625’ W: 5.325” D: 4.25”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 29.53cm W: 13.52cm D: 10.79cm


1 lb 5 0z


Good condition, see description

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size