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Antique Chinese Wood Buddha Shrine
Quan Yin
Teak Log Relief
Qing Dynasty, circa: 19th century
H 26" (65cm.), W 12" (30cm.), D 9" (22.5cm.)
Condition: chipped finger, o.a. very good

A large and impressive carving in teakwood, the elegant figure rendered almost completely in the round yet unseparated from the log. A willowy Quan Yin, with the water vase in her right hand, her left raised in the an-i-in, a gesture of benevolence and protection that “tranquilizes and collects,” stands in a hollowed-out niche. The dark wood is richly patinated by time and bears many superbly carved inscriptions. On the front at the top are the characters “Namah Amithabha, Hear us O Amida Buddha.” The inscription running down the right side reads, “Bringing all into higher consciousness.” On the left side are the words “With compassion I embrace the entire universe like a garment wrapped around my innermost self.” Exceptional artistry is present in the finely delineated features with downcast eyes searching for suffering sentient beings to comfort them. The rhythmically articulated robes are adorned with jewels and flow to the floor of the niche, spreading out where the figure and the base become one. The inseparable unity of the brute unfinished log with the goddess’s soft feminine charm intensifies the work’s dramatic power.

Private Collection

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