Huge Chinese Bronze Avolokitesvara (Song-Ming Dynasty)

Huge Chinese Bronze Avolokitesvara (Song-Ming Dynasty)

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Metalwork: Pre 1492: Item # 665687
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This large bronze figure of Avalokitesvara dates somewhere between the Song Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty in China.

This figure represents one third of a Buddhist Triad, which may have originally been created as an altarpiece in a Buddhist temple.

This bronze figure measures 21 inches tall by 9 inches wide by 8 inches in depth. He/she is depicted wearing a Tang Dynasty upraised hair style and ornate robes and jeweled detailing.

It is in excellent condition with remnants of old gilt and colors remaining in areas. The head is completely covered with a layer of gold and the remainder is covered with a deep brown patina overall.

Traditionally, Avalokitesvara would sit on the left side of Amitabha Buddha in a three figure triad with Mahasthamaprapta sitting on the right side. There are engraved Chinese characterson the reverse side of it's base which translate as left two.

There are additional marks on the Gui held in front of the figure which may represent the date or the original donor of the bronze.

Since the side figures of a triad were smaller than the central figure,the central Buddha must have been fairly large. This fits with the theory of an origin in a temple or possibly a very wealthy home.

In Chinese Buddhism the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is also known as Guanyin. Among the Chinese, Avalokitesvara is almost exclusively called Guanshiyin Pusa. Some Daoist scriptures give her the title of Guanyin Dashi, and sometimes informally as Guanyin Fozu.

In Chinese Buddhism, the worship of Guanyin as a goddess by the populace is generally not in conflict with the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara's nature. In fact the widespread worship of Guanyin as a "Goddess of Mercy and Compassion" is seen as the boundless salvific nature of bodhisattva Avalokitesvara at work. The Buddhist canon states that bodhisattvas can assume whatsoever gender and form is needed to liberate beings from ignorance

This museum quality gilt bronze figure was purchased from an old collection of Asian antiques originally formed during the early portion of the 20th century.

The authenticity of this bronze is guaranteed without exception.