Bodhisattvas are enlightened beings who have put off attaining nirvana to help others reach enlightenment. Renouncing their own salvation. they devote their power and energy to saving suffering beings in this world to help them find their personal enlightenment. The four Great Mahayana Bodhisattvas are Guanyin, (Compassion) Majusri (Wisdom) Kṣitigarbha (savior of Beings in Hell), and Samantabhadra (Buddhis Practice), and Mahasthamaprapta (Power of Wisdom).

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  • Antique Bodhisattva in Meditation, China


    This exquisite 18th-century statue is a Bodhisattva, probably Guanyin, the Goddess of Compassion seated in meditation hands gently rest in her lap and feet in padmasana.  She is exquisitely portrayed as a beautiful young woman with downcast eyes in an aura of serenity and compassion. Every strand of her beautify bun is carved with definition, and in perfect order. Unlike more ornate Guanyin images, this image depicts a humble, unpretentious yet elegant being composed of smooth, gentle flowing lines in a style that helps create an air of peaceful spirituality. The original polychrome and lacquer finish has transformed into a silver hue with a soft patina. This exceptionally fine piece is modeled with elegance, grace, and humility and a radiance that enriches any surroundings and creates its own meditative space.

  • Antique Guanyin a Holding Scroll, China


    This outstanding delicately carved Mahayana Buddhism image is Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, seated in the position of royal ease (lalitsana) on a rocky throne, a reference to her cave home the island of Putuo in the Southern China Sea. Masterfully carved, she has gentle curves thrusting her weight in opposing directions in a lyrical posture. Her refined outstretched right hand with gentle elongated fingers rests on her right knee and her left extends across her body to hold a scroll, a common iconographic symbol of the Lotus Sutra, one of the Buddhist scriptures where her deeds and powers are enumerated or the Dharma which she constantly reads. Portrayed as a mature compassionate woman in serene repose, her delicate face has half-closed almond eyes, pursed lips, and full cheeks. Her hair is atop her head in a chignon and she wears a loose robe open at the chest and tied at the waist. The deeply carved folds of the robe and the patterns on the rocky outcrop on which she sits exemplify its superior craftsmanship   Her flowing robe has much original paint  and the piece is in very good condition with normal signs of wear for its age and use including minor paint loses.


  • Antique Guanyin in Meditation, China


    Guanyin is portrayed here on a backless seat in meditation with her legs in a lotus position covered with her flowing robes.  In this provincial rendering her simple 3-lobed crown contains radiating markings and identifying features include a chignon behind a simple three-lobed crown, plain braids down her shoulders, a round full face in a smile with half closed eyes framed by pendulous ear, voluminous three-part robes and a long simple flat necklace. It retains most of its original lacquer highlighted by gilt.


  • Antique Guanyin with Lobed Crown, China


    The delicately carved antique Guanyin sits with hands in her lap in dhyana (meditation) mudra and feet in padmasana (lotus position), heels facing up. Her oval head is bent in serene peacefulness with a prominent chin and cheekbones, curving pursed lips, and a wide triangular-shaped nose with a center ridge to form high arching eyebrows that frame the almost closed and almond-shaped eyes. The hair, arranged in a tall bun, curves down the back behind a tall three-lobed crown with flaring triangles decorated with deep-grooved crosshatches. The large pendulous lobes and decorated crown indicate her regal status as an enlightened Bodhisattva. The unusually high forehead and oversized head help the viewer to concentrate on her beautifully formed, quiet and calm face as a model of inner peace and serenity to which all Buddhists strive. Masterful yet simple, this image brings quiet energy to its surroundings. The sculpture has a darkened hue from centuries of smoke from incense and candles, but also has traces of the original red pigment and gilt. The rear cavity for consecration is unusually long. The losses in pigment are consistent with age, and the statue otherwise is in very good condition.

  • Antique Polychrome Mazu “Holy Mother in Heaven,” China


    Seated imperiously on a horseshoe chair this majestic and imposing Matsu was carved from a single piece of dense wood, legs resting on a turquoise embossed pedestal set on a base with carved gilt characters of her title “Holy Mother in Heaven.” Her elaborate gilt robe has a white collar, a red girdle at the waist flowing to the tips of her shoes and is meticulously detailed using a blend of sawdust and gesso to form raised textured motifs that include clouds, a dragon framed by her girdle, and a flying dragon on each shoulder. She wears a red imperial flat headdress. Layers of polychrome and gold leaf are highlighted with lacquer creating an effect reminiscent of gilded bronze sculpture with the large amounts of gold associated with enlightenment. This piece shows the decorative influence of Taoism on Qing carvings of this era. The polychrome on her face and hands has been removed revealing a white stucco undercoating.This wonderful carving is in very good condition with all its original gilt and polychrome, expected surface cracks, paint and gilt losses, and chips.

  • Antique Three-Faced Tantric Bodhisattva, China


    This carving is probably Chun-ti P’u-sa, a tantric female deity called the Bodhisattva of Light, worshipped by Chinese Chan (Zen) Buddhists as a merciful Bodhisattva. In tantric style she has a head with three faces and multiple arms and elegant hands: the upper ones hold the Sun and Moon, the middle ones are in mudra of prayer and the lower ones the teaching mudra. Multi-headed and multi-armed bodhisattvas symbolizes their ability to save many living beings at one time. She wears an elegant lobed crown centered by Amitabha, as does Guanyin with whom she is often confused. Her long Buddhist robe extends to her bare feet as she stands on a simple raised pedestal. This is an extremely rare and important piece – as lovely as it is spiritual.

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