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.
This extraordinary Guanyin originates from rural provincial and less literate urban areas in China. Not carved in a sophisticated “imperial” style, its great charm depends on straightforward forms in bright and decorative color combinations. She sits on a backless throne resting on a lotus pedestal held up by a stem flanked by lotuses facing out in modified casual royal ease (lalitsana) and her right hand is a relaxed vitarka mudra. Her oversized crown houses a simple Amitabha Buddha in a lyrical frame By using vibrant unusual multi-colored color combinations, an informal sitting position, simplified, almost geometric shapes for the head and facial features, and bright modest robes she is reflects a humble folk-art image extremely accessible to her devotees. Its size indicates it was carved for a large home, clan, or community temple.
This charming extremely well-modeled carving depicts a hooded Nanhai Guanyin in her Cave on Mount Putuo seated in lalitsana, below a symbolic arch of draped moss on an open lotus below by two closed lotuses all set above a round base. The Nanhai manifestation of Guanyin was massively popular during the Ming/Ching dynasties and provincial wood images were made for placement on home altars throughout China. Her arm resting on an outcrop holds scrolls represents the dharma and sutras and behind her are a vial with the tears of her devotees and parrot, her constant companion. Small Nanhai images for home shrines containing all these symbols in such good condition are very rare.
This extremely unique and charming White Robed Guanyin sits on her mount, a Hǒu, the mythical guardian beast who is the intermediary between the will of heaven and humans. Finely carved from one dense piece of wood, this Hǒu, although generally a powerful beast, is a gentle Buddhist creature curled around Guanyin’s side with mouth open bearing his tongue, well-defined hoofs, and flat tail. Guanyin sits in lalitsana her right hand clasping a rosary. Her mature face leans forward with half closed eyes and smiling lips. This Popular Religion folk version of Guanyin is modestly dressed and devoid of jewels. Small yet powerful, this rare carving retains much of its gilt, polychrome, and lacquer and is in very good condition.
This enchanting carving depicts Nanhai Guanyin in her Cave on Mount Putuo seated in lalitsana, below a symbolic arch of draped moss with bright pigmentation and considerable gilt highlighting her features. Nanhai Guanyin was massively popular during the Ming/Ching dynasties and provincial wood images were made for placement on home altars throughout China. She holds scrolls representing the dharma and sutras and behind her are a vial with the tears of her devotees and parrot, her constant companion. Small Nanhai images for home shrines containing all these symbols in such good condition are very rare.
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