A Chinese figure of Guan Yin, Daoguang, circa 1820-50

This small porcelain figure represents the Chinese bodhisattva, Guan Yin (Guanyin). Associated with mercy and compassion, from the 12th century onwards Guan Yin is generally depicted as a robed female immortal, as in this example.

Unusually richly decorated in Canton famille rose enamels, Guan Yin sits upon a pink lotus, representing peace and harmony. She is shown with two of her attributes – a jar containing holy water or tears, and a bird representing filial piety. Her left hand is raised in a mudra, or Buddhist gesture, and she holds in her left hand a piece of fruit, probably an orange. Covered by a cowl, her hair is decorated with gilt ornaments, and her patterned robes are edged with a floral border, reserved on a gilt band.

Condition: There is a small loss to a section of the front of the cowl, and also to the tips of the fingers, otherwise good. No restoration.

Dimensions: Height 13 cm