PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF BUDDHIST FIGURES FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE CHANG FOUNDATION
The concept of the child-granting Avalokiteshvara originates in the Pumen Pin chapter of the Lotus Sutra, often reproduced as a standalone sutra and recited in order to invoke the deity directly. The sutra states that Avalokiteshvara will grant devout practitioners a handsome son or a virtuous daughter, among other wishes.
A 1609 woodblock print of White-Robed Avalokiteshvara holding a son, in the collection of the C. V. Starr East Asian library at Columbia University, is reproduced by Foxwell, ibid., fig. 5. See also a painting attributed to the Ming dynasty, late 16th century, depicting Guanyin holding a young boy, preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acc. no. 1989.152. Compare the present figure with two seated gilt-bronze figures of Avalokiteshvara with a child, both attributed to the Ming dynasty and with similar features, and treatment of the ornaments and garments, sold in our London rooms, the first on 15th April, 1983, lot 108, the other on 2nd November, 1984, lot 341.
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