VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Seated Guanyin
2000.3387
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Though the Guanyin figurine is a popular subject in Dehua ceramics, this piece in particular stands out for its pure porcelain body and pale ivory glaze that has been likened to white glass.

History of the Object
Guanyin 观音, the Goddess of Mercy, is a Bodhisattva. She is dedicated to the mission of delivering all beings from suffering. Here, she sits in the royal ease position (rājalīlāsana) on a rocky pedestal which gives her an air of regal confidence. The intricately carved folds and drapes on her robe reflect the work of a skilled potter, as do the finely incised facial features that emanate calmness. Beside Guanyin sits a meiping 梅瓶 which probably represents the vase that contains the Dew of Immortality (amrita). It is believed that this dew has curing powers and can prolong life.

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Type
Sculpture 
Materials
Ceramics 
Measurements
Height: 23.5cm 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Dehua, Fujian province, China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 15th century ~ AD 16th century 
Creation date
17th century 
Function
Religious 
Acquisition
This forms part of a wonderful gift of Dehua ceramics (Blanc de chine) made to ACM in 2000 by well-known Dehua collectors, Frank and Pamela Hickley. Like her late husband, Frank, Pamela has a passion for ceramics, particularly Dehua ceramics. She was a founding member of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Society and also President of the society in the mid to late 1990s. As she had lived in Singapore a large part of her life, she decided to present the collection to ACM in memory of her late husband. 
Copyright
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Acknowledgements
Wong Hwei Lian 
Owner
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore 
Museum
Asian Civilisations Museum 
Credit line
Gift of Frank and Pamela Hickley 

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