Lot 17: Large Stone Head of the Bodhisattva Guanyin, Tang Dynasty
October 22, 2016
Berlin, Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
China, Tang dynasty (618-907)
Provenance: Property of a French noble man, in the family collection since at least 1967
Depiction of Guanyin with a meditative expression
The half-closed eyes and the slightly smiling, full mouth are finely carved
The fine hair is hidden under an ornate headdress, which is decorated with three floral medallions
Mounted on a black base (later)
Height: c. 43 cm
Good condition consistent with age
The stone head is in good condition with wear consistent with age such as usual traces of weathering and some losses to the headdress. The height is c. 43 cm.
Guanyin, the Chinese goddess of mercy and compassion, counts among the most venerated figures in Buddhism and is highly respected in Asian cultures. Initially a male figure, over the centuries it transformed into a maternal goddess with wondrous healing powers, bestowing solace and luck. As a bodhisattva, Guanyin denied herself entrance into nirvana when she heard the laments of the mortals and helpfully returned to earth. Her name translates to ‘observer of the cries of the world’.
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