Blanc de Chine figure of Guanyin on sale at Lempertz on December 15 estimated at €30,000-50,000.

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The figure, which comes from an old Dutch collection, is in the catalogue estimated at €30,000-50,000.

The deity holds a central position in Chinese Buddhist tradition and was a chosen subject for the potters of Dehua in south-eastern China, who began creating monochrome porcelain figures with milky-white glazes in the second half of the 14th century.

In line with many other versions, this 19th century figure of Guanyin portrays her in the so-called rajalilasana posture, also known as Royal Ease, with the right knee raised and the left leg positioned under the body.

It bears the mark of Dehua and the Puji yu ren seal, which is generally translated as ’virtue extends to all, even fishermen’. The reason for this somewhat cryptic inscription lies in the fact that as well as being the goddess of compassion, Guanyin was specifically the protector of sailors and fishermen.