Figurine of Guanyin

Guanyin or Guanshiyin is the Bodhisattva of Compassion or the 'Bodhisattva who hears the cries of the world'. She is depicted here seated in dhyanasana (meditation pose) with a ruyi sceptre in her left hand, reclining against an arm-rest with monster mask-shaped legs. Whiteware such as these were made in Dehua, a district in Fujian province, that was famous for white porcelain, known to the Chinese as ‘zhuyoubai’ (pork-grease white) or ‘xiangyabai’ (ivory white), and to the Europeans as 'blanc de chine' (white porcelain). Dehua porcelain has a white body, consisting mostly of porcelain stone (‘baidunzi’) with minute amounts of clay. This porcelain was produced as early as the 14th century.