Antique Nanhai Guanyin with Aureole and Acolytes, China (16428LMK) $795

Original price was: $720.00.Current price is: $595.00.

H: 22.25”  W: 7.25 ”  D: 5” | FOR SHIPPING INFORMATION CONTACT US AT 213-568-3030

Nanhai Guanyin sits in meditation on a pedestal framed by a large mandorla with her two acolytes (one deteriorated) with a benign expression with half-closed eyes, pursed smiling lips, pendulous ears, and a crown with an image of Buddha Amitabha. Most Buddhist carvings suffered severe damage during China’s modernization and antique Guanyin images with her attendants are very rare.


Nanhai-Guanyin seated in meditation (dhyana mudra) in her Tidal Cave on Putuo is one of the most popular Mahayana Pure Land Guanyin images, especially during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and strongly reflects the Chinese syncretic blending of religious beliefs. Provincial craftsmen portrayed her in to reflect local beliefs, lifestyles and customs that resonated with common people rather than the imperially approved formal iconographic prescriptions and their statues appeared everywhere in village, community, and clan shrines and especially on a home altar. Irvin includes Guanyin as 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. In this antique-Chinese-wood-carving she sits on a pedestal framed by a large mandorla with her two acolytes, Shan Tsai  (now lost to deterioration) and Longnu (Longnü, the Dragon Princess). Unlike most similar images which are composed of a separately carved backdrop and attendants attached to her throne, it was carved from a single piece of wood.  It original polychrome,  gilt and  lacquer has faded there there are surface losses and age cracks and partial los of the pedestal .  Despite this, the piece retains its spiritual and serene charm. She wears a crown centered with Amitabha Buddha in meditation bordered by the flames of Buddhism. She is part of a triad with her youthful acolytes Shan Tsai (now missing) at her right and Longnu (the Dragon Princess) on her left holding the Precious Gem. She is framed within a large oval mandorla that extends behind her whole body shaped as a pointed lotus petal with concentric bands and bordered with stylized flames symbolizing her divine light. The bell-shaped back cavity indicates it was consecrated.

Click here for the Blog The Emergence of Nanhai Guanyin.

Click here for the Blog Consecrating Wooden Images to Imbue Them with A Life Force


Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18th century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 22.25” W: 7.25” D: 5”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 56.51cm W: 18.41cm D: 22.58cm


6 lbs 6oz


Good condition with repairs, see description

Item Number


Shipping Box Size