Antique Nanhai Guanyin of the Southern Seas, China (19414BLK) $750 SPECIAL PRICE

Original price was: $750.00.Current price is: $650.00.

H: 9.5” Dia: 4.25″ | FREE SHIPPING!

This charming extremely well-modeled carving depicts a White Robed Nanhai Guanyin in her Cave on Mount Putuo seated on an open lotus in lalitsana below an arch of draped moss . Nanhai Guanyin was massively popular in the Ming/Qing dynasties when provincial wood images were made for home altars throughout China. She holds a scroll representing Buddhist teachings accompanied by a vial with the tears of humanity and a parrot, her constant companion.  Small home shrine Nanhai images with all these symbols are rare.



As one of the most popular Mahayana Pure Land images, especially during the Ming and Qing dynasties, this antique-Chinese-wood-carving of Nanhai-Guanyin of the Southern Seas is seated on a symbolic craggy rock outcrop below an arch of draped moss (some of which is missing ) at the entrance to the Tidal Cave on Putuo renowned for its beauty, spirituality, and natural wonders. She is a White-Robed Guanyin seated in lalitsana, on an open lotus, a symbol of purity and enlightenment framed below by two closed lotuses symbolizing the potential for enlightenment, on a round base. Her arm resting on an outcrop cradles scrolls that represent the dharma, the Lotus Sutra, or other sutras with which she is associated. Behind her is the vial containing amitra, the nectar or sacred precious dew of compassion, healing and immortality and the parrot denoting filial piety.  As described in the Pure Land Sutra, the Pure Land is home to parrots and other birds who help those who have achieved rebirth in the Western Paradise. Nanhai Guanyin is a syncretic deity and Irvin calls her one of the Great Chinese Goddesses who are all imperially sanctioned and epitomize the feminine role of compassionate protectors of health, long life and safety to all.  Provincial craftsmen portrayed her in less costly wood that represents the simplicity of the flow of life that nurtures all beings. She is a modest figure that resonated with common people rather than adhering to sanctioned imperial prescriptions.  Although the piece probably was covered with lacquer, some is now faded, parts of the parrot are  worn, and there are surface losses consistent with age and use.  Otherwise, it is in very good condition. It is mounted on a modern frosted Acrylic base.

Click here for the Blog The Emergence of Nanhai Guanyin.

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 4 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 6 in
Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 9.5” Dia: 4.25”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 24.13cm Dia: 10.795cm


1 lb 3oz


Very good, patina and wear consistent with age and use

Item Number