PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF BUDDHIST FIGURES FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE CHANG FOUNDATION
Existing silver figures from the Wanli period are few in number, as are Wanli figures with dated inscriptions; the combination of the two elements would suggest that the present figure is exceedingly rare. The ring-punch design employed in one of the floral motifs of the robe is a technique of silver decoration used since the Tang dynasty, when Central Asian visitors along the Silk Route introduced their metalworking traditions to China. For an example with the ring-punch technique on a gilt-silver repoussé vessel, see a Tang dynasty footed bowl in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acc. no. 1974.267. For an earlier example of the chasing technique employed on the lotus petals on the base of the present figure, see a Southern Song dynasty silver lotus-form cup, illustrated in the Zhongguo wenwu jinghua daquan/ Compendium of Chinese Art: Gold, Silver, Jade, Stone, Hong Kong, 1994, pl. 145.
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