Ming Votive Art Tops Gianguan Auctions March Sale

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • February 11, 2019

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Continuing the tradition of offering collectors and curators fine examples of Buddhist Art, Gianguan Auctions leads its March 18th sale with a late Ming porcelain Guanyin bearing the mark He Chaozong YIn. 

The 17th century potter worked in the tradition of the Dehua kilns, notable for the blanc-de-chine glaze that was ultimately copied by Meissen. This figure of Guanyin is finished overall in an ivory tinged glaze.

The elegant figure that sits in dhyanasana on a plinth of lohans and lotus blossoms was likely created as a commission for a specific monastery. Its fingers, raised in abaya mudra, are long and delicately shaped, an indication of male energy.  The eyes and smile exude the serenity of meditation. A distinctive cowl hugs the head and is seemingly unique among similar works by He.

In molding the robes, He Chaozong’s artistry duplicates the softness of “pure cloth” used in monastic clothing. The shawl falls in five graduated folds above a cascading wrap that lies between the lateral folds of the Guanyin’s concealed legs.

Notably, the deity possesses attributes not only of Guanyin but also of Avalokitesvara, Buddha, Bodhisattva, Sakyamuni or Maitreya. In the Gianguan catalog, it is cast as a Guanyin, which can be seen as either the female mother who brings forth children or the male bestowing benevolence. The back of the figure is impressed with four characters within a square, the seal of He Chaozong Yin. The blanc-de-chine Guanyin measures 15¼ inches tall.

For details on this and other articles of votive art, please visit the Gianguan Auctions catalog at www.gianguanauctions.com

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