Price is subject to availability and market conditions.
Chinese Blanc De Chine Guanyin, 17th-18th century, seated upon a rocky base in a cross-legged position with a child on her lap, her hands in a variation of the Dhyana and Shuni mudras, attended by two praying acolytes and flanked by a bird and vase; her flowing mantle parting to reveal prayer beads strung around her neck, her serene face framed by elongated earlobes and tall chignon.
Originating in India, where she is known as Avalokitesvara, Guanyin represents the mortal Buddha of compassion and mercy. Buddhism probably arrived in China with travelling monks in the first century BC and was widely adopted, with Buddhist figures such as Avalokitesvara being transformed into the Chinese deity Guanyin over the course of centuries. This example was made at the Dehua kilns in the South-Eastern coastal province of Fujian, renowned for their creamy-white, translucent porcelain. Due to the raw materials available in the local area, Dehua porcelain contains high levels of pure china stone, which results in a very hard and sugary body particularly suited to the production of moulded figures. In this example, the hands are shown in a combination of the Dhyana Mudra, which represents meditation upon the Good Law and the attainment of spiritual perfection, said to have been used by the Buddha before his Enlightenment, and the Shuni Mudra, also known as 'the seal of patience' and said to represent discipline and focus. This figure is similar to the blanc de chine Guanyin illustrated in the border of the map Blaeu’s Niew Atlas of 1655; also see Blanc de Chine. Porcelain from the catalogue of the Hickley Collection, Singapore (Rose Kerr & John Ayers, Art Media Resources Ltd, 2002) page 29, figures 17 and 18.