Antique Guanyin with Vial and Parrot, China (16246XLOK) $1450


H: 15.5″  W: 6″  D: 5.25″ | for shipping information contact us at  213-568-3030

In this elegant and vibrant carving Guanyin sits in meditation and feet in padmasana. Her beautiful, serene face is elegantly carved in contemplation with half-closed eyes and bud-shaped lips softly set in a welcoming and benign sweet smile. Her forehead is framed with soft curls and long hair drawn into chignon set behind her striated five-lobed crown and falling in knotted braids to her shoulders. Wearing elegant long flowing gilt and red robes, she sits on an open lotus with a vertical post at her sides; her sacred vial on her right and a parrot on the left. Antique carved i Guanyin statues with her symbols in this condition are quite wonderful and rare and impart a feeling of serenity to the environment around them.




Nanhai-Guanyin of the South Seas images were especially popular during the Ming and Qing dynasties in both the imperially sanctioned and provincial rural traditions; this image reflects both traditions. Carved by a provincial artisan, she is a serene and majestic mature woman with a radiantly warm smile, rounded face and half-closed almond shaped eyes.  In meditation (dhyana mudra) hands are in her lap and feet in padmasana with bare soles exposed. As an imperial Bodhisattva, she is regally clad in a five lobed crown and flowing robes bordered in red, but the three part robe is modest, open at the chest, draped in swirling curves over her legs and extending down the lotus base. Most of the red and vibrant gilt covering the image remains, as if in a glow of enlightenment. She is welcoming, soothing and decidedly relatable. She sits on a two-tiered lotus throne (padmapitha) on a concave pedestal with a scalloped design surrounded by two vertical posts: on her right is the sacred vial containing amitra, the nectar or sacred precious dew of compassion, healing and immortality and on her left is her constant companion the parrot symbolizing filial piety.  The Pure Land Sutra describes the Pure Land with parrots who help those who have achieved rebirth in the Western Paradise. The oval-shaped closed cavity (bung) indicates it was consecrated, probably for a wealthy donor for private devotion on a home altar.  Nanhai Guanyin is a Mahayana Pure Land syncretic deity identified by Irvin as one of the Great Chinese Goddesses who epitomizes the feminine role of compassionate protector. This remarkable carving is in excellent condition with ,minor surface and paint losses and loss on the face of the parrot.  According to feng shui, Guanyin images should be placed in the center of the home to bring blessings to the entire home. This rare carving is part of the VA Collection of Buddhist-Art set on uniquely fashioned frosted acrylic base.

Click here for the Blog The Emergence of Nanhai Guanyin and the blog Consecrating Wooden Images to Imbue Them with A Life Force

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

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18th century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 15.5" W: 6" D: 5.25"

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 39.37cm W: 15.24cm D: 13.335cm


4lbs 5oz


Excellent, See Descripton

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size