Guanyin, Sancai glaze, China, late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Photo courtesy Auctionata

Peaceful expression. Matching wooden base. Height: 63 cm. Estimation : 4 800 / 6 000 €

Provenance: from a German private collection

This large ceramic figure of Guanyin dates back to the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Guanyin is the Chinese goddess of mercy and compassion.
The goddess is sitting in the lotus position on a finely carved wooden base from the 19th or 20th Century. She is wearing a five-pointed Bodhisattva crown, symbolizing the power of the five Tathagathas, and is dressed in a long robe. Her hands form the dhyana mudra, the gesture of meditation, and are holding a small round bowl. Guanyin’s face shows a peaceful expression and half-closed eyes.
The brown and green glaze running down the deity’s head and chest endow the figure with an extraordinary aesthetic quality. A magnificent example of traditional Sancai glaze!
The Guanyin figure is of an appealing optical appearance, yet several areas such as the crown, neck, nose or the garment rims have been restored.
The base shows some colour and material abrasions.
The figure measures 63 cm in height.

Sancai. Sancai (translated: ‘three colours’) is a lead-glazing technique, usually consisting of three different colours, which developed in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and was mainly for decorating figural sculptures, mostly burial objects. Sancai ceramic and porcelain wares typically show a green, auburn and amber glaze on a light background. On rare occasions cobalt blue was also used. Via the Silk Road, the technique was exported to Syria, Cyprus and finally Italy where it enjoyed great popularity during the 15th Century.

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