Bonhams : An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century

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Lot 66
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin
Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century

Sold for £ 66,000 (US$ 85,093) inc. premium
The property of a Lady
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin
Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century
The benevolent figure seated in royal ease with one hand in vitarka mudra and the other in harina mudra, adorned with long flowing robes falling naturalistically in folds and a beaded necklace, the full face bearing a serene expression with slightly downcast glass-inset eyes beneath an arched brow, all surmounted by a cinquefoil foliate crown centred with a figure of Amitabha Buddha and enclosing a high double-top chignon, the surface with remnants of gesso, gilt, red and blue pigment.
133.4cm (52½in) high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: acquired at Sotheby's London, 6 December 1994, lot 12, where the Guanyin was attributed to the Yuan/early Ming Dynasty, 14th/15th century.
    A Chinese private collection, kept in the family's London residence.

    The dating of this lot is consistent with the result of a radiocarbon dating measurement test, RCD RadioCarbon Dating, sample no.RCD-7164, which states 95% interval for AD 1010 to AD 1190.

    Carved wood figures of Guanyin dating to the 11th/12th century are particularly rare in museums or important private collections. See a related wood figure of Guanyin from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, seated with one knee raised on a rockwork pedestal and attributed to circa 1200, Jin Dynasty, illustrated by J.Larson and R.Kerr, Guanyin: A Masterpiece Revealed, London, 1985, p.65. Compare also a seated wood figure of Guanyin from the Avery Brundage Collection, The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, attributed to circa 12th century, illustrated in The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco: Selected Works, Seattle, 1994, p.97.

    It is very likely that the present figure of Guanyin was made for a temple. Guanyin, an emanation of the Buddha Amitabha, is also known as the Bodhisattva or Goddess of Compassion and Mercy. The worship of the Goddess was especially popular during the Song Dynasty, a period consistent with the dating of the present lot, and continued to develop thereafter; see P.B.Welch, Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery, Tokyo, 2008, p.201.
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century
An important and rare large wood figure of Guanyin Song/Jin Dynasty, 11th/12th century
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