Late Ming dynasty Heavily cast seated atop a lotus pedestal with one leg raised and another resting at ease, the voluminous bodhisattva holding prayer beads in his right hand, the left holding his cloth sack, the wide face framed by his bald head with laughing expression flanked by a pair of pendulous earlobes. 28cm high.
The stories of Budai, the Laughing Buddha, centered on an eccentric, but much-loved Zen (Chan) monk who lived during the late Tang to early Five Dynasties period. A native of Fenghua, his Buddhist name was Qici or Qieci (literally 'Promise this') and he was known for working small wonders and predicting the weather.
An accumulation of several Chinese legends, Budai is most commonly regarded as an incarnation of Maitreya Buddha (the Buddha of the Future). He is admired for his happiness, wisdom and contentment, and is associated with the protection of children.
Compare a similar size gilt-bronze Budai figure sold at Christie's Hong Kong, 31 May 2010, lot 1964 and a smaller one sold at Sotheby's London, 16 May 2007, lot 339, both from Ming dynasty.
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