The inscription can be translated:
The Monk Fo,
Second year of Jiajing reign,
Craftsman Li Cong Fu
Evidence of the making of ironware in China is recorded as far back as the Shang Dynasty and techniques for making cast-iron tools, agricultural equipment, religious objects and weaponry became more and more sophisticated throughout the ages. By the Song Dynasty, when an "inner moulding" technique was developed, involving the insertion of clay or plaster into the mould, it became possible to make large cast-iron figures, which by the Ming Dynasty were made with great attention to detail. This is evident in the present lot.