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Antique Chinese Polychrome Gilt Wood
Kuan Yin
On Double Lotus Plinth
Qing, circa: 18th century
H 16" (41cm.), W 9" (23cm.), D 8.5" (21cm.)
Condition : Good, loss ring finger

Kuan Yin (also spelled Kwan Yin or Quan Yin), is known as the Goddess of Compassion, and she is one of the most popular deities in all of Asia. The name Kuan Yin in Chinese roughly translates as "The One Who Hears the Cries of the World." She has 33 different manifestations, one of the Bodhisattvas attending the Buddha Amitabha, and is usually represented with a small image of Amitabha in her crown. There are numerous other forms of Kuan Yin throughout Asia; in Japan her name is Kannon. You will find shrines dedicated to her not only in China, but in Japan, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. You will find images of Kuan Yin not only at Buddhist temples, but also in Taoist and Confucian temples.

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Polychrome Kuanyin
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Exquisitely carved from a single block of camphor wood, using an unique Chinese formula of gesso and saw-dust mixture, the statue is meticulously detailed with ultra fine embossed motifs, and ornamental jewel chains that festoon the edges of her robes. The application of gold foil and lacquer; completed with layers of gilt and polychrome finishing created an effect reminiscent of gilt bronze sculpture. Such elaborate design can be traced back to the Daoist influence of the Qing eras (1644-1911 A.D.). However, judging from the warm and benevolent expression of her features, arrangements of her parallel hairlines that framed her moon shaped face, and the symmetrical treatments of the drapery, the style of this Avalokiteshvara Kuan Yin in teaching mudras is an original Chinese design established since the Tang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.), at a time before the considerably more rigid influence of Tibetan Buddhist arts.

 
  
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