|China or Southeast Asian Chinese Communities, 19th century|
This tall, willowy carved wooden figure is of Guanyin, a well known Buddhist bodhisattva associated with mercy, and whom Taoists (most Southeast Asian Chinese communities are Taoists) regard as an immortal. Executed in the Ming style, it is either from China itself or from one of the many ethnic Chinese communities of Southeast Asia.
The figure is very sculptural, having a noticeable curve or arc to its posture and robes, suggesting celestial travel, perhaps atop a cloud, which sees the robes fly out.
It is decorated in black and red lacquer as well as traces of gilding (gold leaf).
The goddess wears a long flowing robe and a necklace associated with royalty. Her hair is piled high and well defined. The fringes of the robe are bordered in low relief with flowers and leaf motifs. Her well carved feet and toes are bare and poke out from beneath the robe.
Three covered, circular niches are in the figures back. Most probably these contain segments of religious text. Possibly the figure as commissioned for a temple or perhaps for a household altar.
The image is structurally sound. There is some flaking to the lacquer work and the expected shrinkage cracking here and there. But overall, the image is intact and stable. It is very decorative and well carved.
|Location of Origin: Asia|
|Medium/Materials: wood, decorated in black and red lacquer, traces of gilding (gold leaf)|
|Dimensions: height: 65cm|
|Primary Classification: Asian Art : Chinese Antiques|
|References:Stevens, K., Chinese Gods: The Unseen World of Spirits and Demons, Collins & Brown, 1997.|
|Provenance: collected in the 1950s by Professor Bengt Hager (1916 2011) and Lilavati Devi (c. 1925 2002) of Sweden; thence by descent.|
|Price:||Item has been sold.|
|Offered By:||Items for sale from dealers we worked with previously|
121 Mount Vernon, Boston, MA 02108 USA
Item has been sold.
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