Nanhai Guanyin of the South Sea Atop a Fish, China (16376TSK) $675 SPECIAL PRICE

Original price was: $675.00.Current price is: $625.00.

H: 10″  W: 5.5″ D:  4.5″ |  FREE SHIPPING IN CONTINENTAL U.S.!

This charming 18th century provincial Guanyin of the Southern Seas sits in meditation on a lotus and smiling joyously.  As a protector of the sea, she is seated on an open lotus above a fish with his head and tail emerging from the water. The lotus represents purity and the stem symbolizes Buddhist teachings which give rise to purity of mind and enlightenment.


Nanhai Guanyin of the South Sea was one of the most popular Mahayana Pure Land manifestations of this Bodhisattva in the late Ming and Early Qing Dynasties. Nanhai Guanyin and other Buddhist statues at this time where syncretic, blended in form and tradition and appearing everywhere in Buddhist, Taoist and Popular Religion Guanyin Temples, village, community, and clan shrines and especially in home altars. The open cavity in the back indicates she was consecrated by a monk and likely placed on a home altar with other religious statues. As Nanhai Guanyin she traditionally was seated on a symbolic rocky outcrop at the entrance to her cave on the small island of Putuo; the lotus here is a form of the rocky outcrop. In this charming and rare 18th century provincial carving, she sits hands together in meditation and feet crossed in padmasana (lotus position) with bare soles turned up. Her sweet, smiling, joyous face is framed by the pendulous ears of an enlightened being and topped with a round crown with flowing ribbons.  The lotus represents purity and the stem symbolizes Buddhist teachings which give rise to purity of mind. As a protector of the sea, she is sometimes portrayed seated on or above a fish – symbolically show here and above an emerging fish head and tail. Chapter 25 of Lotus Sutra, the Universal Door of Guanyin Bodhisattva states:

If someone is being tossed about in the great sea,
And is surrounded by the dangers of dragons, fish, and ghosts,
If he evokes the strength of Guanyin,
The waves will not drown him.

The fish below feet also symbolizes her power to help people safely sail through the bitter sea of suffering which divides the mortal world and the Western Paradise to which pious devotees of Pure Land Mahayana Buddhism are brought upon their death. Covered on all sides with red, the color of fu, or the Five Blessings or Happinesses (longevity wealth health, a love of virtue and a peaceful death in old age and gilt which is an expression of and wish for prosperity, she is in excellent condition and mounted on a frosted acrylic base to bring compassion blend with any décor and attract good energy to the space it occupies.


Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Qing Dynasty


18th century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 10" W: 5 1/2" D: 4 1/2"

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 25. 4cm W: 13.97cm D: 11.43cm


Excellent, age appropriate signs of wear

Item Number


Shipping Box Size