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Chinese White Limestone Buddha Statue
Kuan Yin

Great Compassion Bodhisattva

Qing Dynasty, circa 19th century
H 17 in.(43cm)x W 6 in.(15cm)x D 6 in.(15cm)
Condition: minor chip on base

Private Collection

Previously adorning the formal garden of a North Carolina Estate, this elegant Tang style Kuan Yin was carved in the late Qing Dynasty at the end of the 19th century. The quality of the limestone used in this rare masterpiece indicates that it was likely an imperial object carved for the Qing Court. Similar Buddhist art appears in old photographs of the imperial Summer Palace in Beijing, Hebei.

In this perfectly proportioned stone figure, Avalokiteshvara, Kuan Yin the Bodhisattva of Compassion who rescues and protects all sentient beings from suffering. She is eloquently carved in a flowing series of sashes and scarves ( dhoti ); with her left leg arranged naturally in a slight bent, her body is portrayed in a graceful forwarding motion. She holds a lotus bud in one hand, and a vase containing the elixir of life is held firmly in the other.

For verification purpose, please note that: a small chip to the figure’s right hand has been restored. Though it is not visible from the front, there is a chipped corner at the rear of the base. Nevertheless, among many statue of Kuan Yin were made in the Chinese Buddhist Art; this is no doubt one of the finest.

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