Buddhist Female Attendant Figure
Item No. 16260
19th Century, Buddhist, China
Lacquer over Wood and Polychrome
7.5" x 3" x 2.75"
( 19.05 x 7.62 x 6.985 cm)
(H x W x D)
This piece is signed on the rear and indicates that it belonged to the Lee family. It is a representation of a finely carved and enlightened Buddhist attendant, her enlightenment indicated by the fact that she is standing on a double lotus base, which is reserved for enlightened beings. Her head is shaved, but two thick pigtails remain at the back top of her head. She has a very round head and face and displays very large ears with lobes that extend almost to the shoulders, another sign of a wise and elightened being. She has very high arched eyebrows, a wide, triangular nose, half-closed eyelids as she looks down in joyous contemplation, and ample cheeks and pursed lips as she smiles with joy and bliss in the knowledge of her enlightenment. Her simple robe crosses under the neck, has a plain border, hangs skirt-like to the knees and is tied tightly at the waist in a simple knot, with the remaining cord hanging strait downward. Her pants hang with nicely carved folds to the sandals, the front of which are exposed as they extend in front of the garment. The precise carving of the double lotus base,the deep folds of the drapery of her garments, the lively drapery of her sleeves as she holds her hands to her chest and the skillful modeling of the faceand head, the facial features and other areas in the statue make this a very special piece.
As an attendant, she was probably placed on the Lee family altar with a larger, more prominent and important enlightened such as a Buddha or Guanyin along with another attendant on the opposite side.