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    Sale 7720

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Including Export Art

    12 May 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 81

    A FINE JADEITE 'GUANYIN AND PEACOCK' GROUP

    19TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FINE JADEITE 'GUANYIN AND PEACOCK' GROUP
    19TH CENTURY
    The deity depicted standing on a large peacock wearing long flowing robes and holding an amphora to her right shoulder, the stone of an attractive apple-green colour with russet and white inclusions
    9½ in. (24 cm.) high.


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    The peacock has long been associated with the Bodhisattva Avolokitesvara (Guanyin), who enters the Chinese Buddhist pantheon in male form but comes to be represented in female form, especially in relation to the role of Goddess of Mercy. One of the stories relating to the Chinese Guanyin in female form tells of the Bodhisattva summoning a large bird with dull plumage, sweeping her hands across her own face and then over the feathers of the bird. The bird was suffused with brilliant lights and colours, to the extent that other creatures had to look away. When they looked back they saw that each of the bird's 100 tail feathers contained an eye. Guanyin explained this by saying that as she was unable to be omnipresent in watching over them, the eyes in the peacock's tail would keep watch for her and remind them of her constant care (see M. Palmer, J. Ramsay and Man-ho Kwok, Myths and Prophecies of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion, HarperCollins, London, 1995).

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