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For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

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figure

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    PDF.415

  • Description

    Dehua porcelain figure of a seated Guanyin holding a basket containing fish. The figure leans against an ornamental rock on the edge of a shore with waves lapping at the edges.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 18thC-19thC
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Ware

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 153 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        mark
      • Inscription Language

        Chinese
      • Inscription Comment

        Seal mark incised on the back
  • Curator's comments

    Room 95 label text:

    PDF 415

    Figure of Guanyin holding a basket of fish


    觀音Guanyin is shown here with a basket of fish. She is the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Guanyin is an abreviation of 觀世音 (guan shi yin ‘ observing the cries of the world’). It is the Chinese name for the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, which is her male form. Guanyin is shown here with a basket of fish, refering to her rescue of one of the sons of the Dragon Kings (a magical ruler of the sea). The son of the Dragon King turned himself into a fish. He was caught by a fisherman and thus unable to change back from being a fish into a dragon again. Guanyin saved him from being bought and eaten at a market and returned him to the sea.


    Porcelain moulded and carved with transparent glaze
    Dehua ware 德化窯
    Dehua, Fujian province 德化, 福建省
    Qing dynasty, about AD 1700–1900

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Medley 1975 Colour pl. 74 and p. 315 bibliographic details
    • Scott 1989B p.97, no.99 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G95/case35/sh2

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Asia

  • Registration number

    PDF.415

Dehua porcelain figure of a seated Guanyin holding a basket containing fish. The figure leans against an ornamental rock on the edge of a shore with waves lapping at the edges.

Copyright SOAS All rights reserved

Image description

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Object reference number: RRC38763

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