The deity is depicted seated on a lion with its mouth opened in a vigorous growl, depicting 'Guanyin of the Lion Roar' (Simhanada Avalokiteshvara): the intense moment of transcendent enlightenment. Her serene features convey a sense of profound thought and wisdom which contrasts with the ferocity of the lion. Together, the two figures represent an image of controlled power and harmony.
The present lot belongs to a group of jade bodhisattvas commissioned to furnish Buddhist shrines and probably used for private worship. Such figures were also known to exist in other forms of media such as metal, stone, jadeite and wood, and were popular throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is likely that this figure, although created in the Ming dynasty, continued to serve as an image for worship in the Qing dynasty. The gilt-bronze stand, in its size and height, is in almost seamless concordance with the jade figure; suggesting this could be a tailor-made addition by a Qing-dynasty worshipper. A closely related example, rendered almost identically to the present piece but lacking a separate stand, is in the collection of Palace Museum, Beijing, illustrated in Zhongguo yuqi quanji [Complete collection of Chinese Jades], vol. 5, Shijiazhuang, 1993, pl. 313.