The present figure sits in the 'Water and Moon' (shuiyue) posture, with the right arm draped languidly over the raised knee. Such depictions probably originated in the Tang period, but gained increasing prevalence in the Song and Yuan dynasties. The particularly slender waist and treatment of the jewelry and hair, however, associate the present work with a corpus of bronzes dated to the Yuan and Ming dynasties. See, for example, a related bronze in The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology, Oxford, and another in The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, illustrated in Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Buddhist Sculptures in Overseas Collections, vol. 7, Beijing, 2005, p. 1403 and p. 1401, respectively.
The present work is particularly rare as an early depiction of the Songzi form of Guanyin, or the 'Bringer of Sons,' identified by the boy seated on her knee. Extant depictions of Songzi Guanyin from the later Ming dynasty are known, such as a gilt-bronze figure seated on a lotus base, illustrated by H. Munsterberg in Chinese Buddhist Bronzes, Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo, 1967, no. 73.