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Image of Guanyin in Meditation
Item No. 16087

18th Century, Buddhist, China
Lacquer over Wood with Polychrome and Gilt
13.25" x 6.25" x 3.75"
( 33.655 x 15.875 x 9.525 cm)
(H x W x D)

Guanyin sits in padmasana with the hands held in dhyana mudra-- right hand over left hand --the mudra of meditation which symbolizes the attainment of spiritual perfection or enlightenment. Originally the statue was covered with gold gilt lacquer, but now only the gilt on the face, crown, and parts of the robe remain. The highly carved crown is centered with an image of Buddha Amitabha,the constant companion to Guanyin, around which flares an aureole like element with flames of Buddhism. The full face is peaceful and contemplative, with half closed eyes, painted lips and receding chin and framed by pendulous ears and large lobes. The traditional outer garment is open at the chest revealing a pectoral around the neck, a skirt belted at the waist with long sleeves and falling in loose folds over his plain throne. The throne is set in a rectangular pedestal with red pigmentation and a scalloped bottom which is not original to the piece but appears to have been attached long ago. The back contains a vertical cavity used for placing sacred documents, including sutras and messages to ancestors, during an an eye opening ceremony performed by a monk to consecrate the carving. There is a "bung" which is traditionally used to seal the cavity, but it is not clear whether the bung is original to the piece.

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