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Updated: 14 April 2015
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Dehua ware porcelain figure of a bent, old, emaciated bearded man. He stands among clouds, barefoot on a millet stalk. In front of him are three mountain peaks and three rows of ocean waves. He holds a shoe in his right hand. The figure has a white body.
- Made in: Dehua
- (Asia,China,Fujian (province),Dehua)
- Height: 163 millimetres
Inscription PositionOn the back
Inscription TransliterationYan Ji
Inscription TranslationRecorded by Yan
Room 95 label text:
Figure of Bodhidharma on waves
Potters made figures of gods and goddesses for domestic altars as well as to export at the Dehua kilns. Originally the figures were probably made as cheap alternatives to ivory carvings of deities also made in Fujian. Bodhidharma is the legendary founder of Chan (Zen) Buddhism in China. Soon after his death in the 5th century, Bodhidharma was seen walking back towards his native India. He was barefoot and with a single shoe in his hand. It is this journey of Bodhidharma that is depicted here The mark 炎記 (Yan ji ) is stamped on the back this may mean ‘recorded by Yan’.
Porcelain moulded and carved with transparent glaze
Dehua ware 德化窯
Dehua, Fujian province 德化, 福建省
Qing dynasty, about AD 1800–1900
Finely modelled white Dehua porcelain figure of a bent, old, emaciated bearded man. He stands among clouds, barefoot on a millet stalk. In front of him are three mountain peaks and three rows of ocean waves. He holds a shoe in his right hand.
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Object reference number: RRC38836
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