25 September 2020
A CARVED MARBLE HEAD OF A BODHISATTVA
MING DYNASTY (1368-1644)
The face is carved with downcast eyes and a serene expression. The hair is arranged in waves to form a high coiffure, and is surmounted by a bird with its head resting towards the deity's forehead and clutching a rosary in its beak.
17 ½ in. (44.4 cm.) high, metal stand
Roger Keverne, London, 2009.
The Lenora and Walter F. Brown Collection, San Antonio, Texas.
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Roger Keverne, Fine and Rare Chinese Works of Art and Ceramics - Summer Exhibition, London, 2009, p. 70, no. 99.
London, Roger Keverne, Fine and Rare Chinese Works of Art and Ceramics - Summer Exhibition, June 2009.
The bird surmounting the hair bears tail feathers resembling those of a peacock, which is often mentioned in Buddhist texts and symbolizes wisdom and renewal. Therefore, it is possible that the present head represents that of the Peacock King, a former incarnation of Shakyamuni. The Peacock King is one of the Wisdom Kings, and is usually depicted as a female bodhisattva riding on a peacock.
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