A FINE DEHUA FIGURE OF GUANYIN
A FINE DEHUA FIGURE OF GUANYIN
A FINE DEHUA FIGURE OF GUANYIN
2 More
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
A FINE DEHUA FIGURE OF GUANYIN

MING DYNASTY, EARLY 17TH CENTURY, IMPRESSED HE CHAOZONG MARK WITHIN A DOUBLE GOURD

Details
A FINE DEHUA FIGURE OF GUANYIN
MING DYNASTY, EARLY 17TH CENTURY, IMPRESSED HE CHAOZONG MARK WITHIN A DOUBLE GOURD
The Goddess of Mercy is shown seated with both hands resting on the raised right knee, and the left hand gently clasping a scroll. The figure is swathed in a long, flowing robe which falls open at the chest to reveal a ruyi-shaped necklace. The hair is held in a high chignon by a ruyi-shaped hairpin. The maker's mark, He Chaozong, is incised within a double gourd on the back and the glaze is of a warm ivory tone.
8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm.) high, hongmu stand
Provenance
Y. Tsuruki, Kyoto, 24 April 1936.
William Carey Crane (1891-1978) and Lois Whitin Crane (1896-1988) Collection, and thence by descent within the family.
Special notice
Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

Brought to you by

Olivia Hamilton
Olivia Hamilton

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

William Carey Crane (1891-1978) was born in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. From West Point, he commissioned in the field artillery in 1913. He graduated from Command and General Staff School in 1927 and the Army War College in the following year. During the 1930s, he served as a military attaché to the U.S. ambassador in Japan. He made brigadier general in December 1942 and became chief of staff of Southern Defense Command. Between 1944 and 1946, he held the position of commanding general of I Corps Artillery and then Fort Devens. He retired from active duty in February 1947. His decorations included the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Commendation Ribbon.

In 1921, William Carey Crane married Lois Haven Whitin, whose family had founded the Whitin Machine Works in Massachusetts in 1831. She accompanied William Carey Crane to Japan, and together they embraced their life in Asia. They become fluent in Japanese, and experienced many adventures: they not only traveled extensively throughout Asia, but even survived the great earthquake that devastated much of Tokyo and the surrounding area in 1923.

William and Lois Crane’s love of the languages and cultures of Asia led to a life-long appreciation for the art, which they collected with great passion and discernment. Their cherished collection of Chinese and Japanese art returned with them to the US, where it has been much appreciated by family and friends to this day.


Unlike the factories at Jingdezhen, porcelain production at Dehua was not under Imperial supervision; reign marks were therefore rarely used, and instead potters sometimes impressed their own seals or workshops marks. Some of these marked pieces have come to enjoy great prestige among collectors, most notably the works of He Chaozong. His Guanyin figures are graceful and serene, often with finely detailed accessories such as the exceptionally fine ruyi hairpin and necklace on the present example, elegant fingers, and a characteristic creamy rich glaze covering the whole. Despite his renown, little is known about the potter, but modern scholarship now considers a late Ming dynasty/17th century date to be most likely.

A closely related figure of Guanyin, also with a He Chaozong mark, and seated in the same posture with a scroll and hairpin, but atop a reed mat, was included in the exhibition at the China Institute Gallery and illustrated by J. Ayers, Blanc de Chine: Divine Images in Porcelain, New York, 2002, p. 83, no. 34.

Another figure, also with a He Chaozong mark within a double-gourd but with both hands hidden within the folds of her long sleeves, is illustrated by R. Blumenfield, Blanc de Chine: The Great Porcelain of Dehua, Hong Kong, 2002, p. 132, fig. A. Further related examples include one holding a ruyi scepter illustrated by P. J. Donnelly, Blanc de Chine: The Porcelain of Tehua in Fukien, New York, 1969, pl. 144, fig. A, and the unmarked figure holding a scroll, dated to the late 17th-early 18th century, illustrated by C. J. A. Jörg, Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: The Ming and Qing Dynasties, London, 1997, p. 244, no. 280.

More from Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

View All
View All