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Seated Buddha
Place of Origin: China
Date: 1900s
Historical Period: Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Materials: Manasi nephrite
Dimensions: H. 5 1/2 in x W. 4 1/4 in x D. 2 1/4 in, H. 13.3 cm x W. 10.8 cm x D. 5.7 cm
Credit Line: Transfer from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Bequest of Isabella M. Cowell
Department: Chinese Art
Collection: Jade And Stones
Object Number: B68J4
On Display: No

Description

Label:

This spinach–green Manasi jade contains tiny black inclusions and white mottling. The Buddha is seated in meditation. His left hand carries an alms bowl, and his right hand is raised in the "fear not" gesture. His hair is arranged in snail-shape curls. The topknot, instead of being a plain conical shape, is more like a chignon combed nicely in the back. This is not a hairstyle associated with the Buddha, but is more akin to the hair of Guanyin, the Buddhist Lord of Mercy.

The statue is based on gilt bronze prototypes from the 1700s. The snail curls, the nicely pleated shawl over his left shoulder, and the robe fanning out gracefully between his legs are all characteristic of such statues. The insides of gilt bronze pieces are hollow and are filled with objects during consecration; afterward, they are sealed with a metal plate incised with the crossed thunderbolts. This jade example is solid, but a motif of the crossed thunderbolts incised on the bottom imitates the style of the gilt bronze statues. There should be a ying-yang motif in the center of the two thunderbolts, but the jade example is incised with a fictitious four-character reign mark of Qianlong nianzhi, or "made in the reign of the Qianlong emperor."

Many clues in this piece justify dating it to the early 1900s: the alms bowl that has not been hollowed, the misunderstood topknot, and the reign mark placed in the center of a religious motif.


More Information

Exhibition History: Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century (Tateuchi Gallery, 11/10/2007 - 8/2008)
"The Resplendent Stone: Chinese Jades from the 18th-20th Centuries," SFO International Terminal, December 12, 2009 - June 6, 2010
Label:

This spinach–green Manasi jade contains tiny black inclusions and white mottling. The Buddha is seated in meditation. His left hand carries an alms bowl, and his right hand is raised in the "fear not" gesture. His hair is arranged in snail-shape curls. The topknot, instead of being a plain conical shape, is more like a chignon combed nicely in the back. This is not a hairstyle associated with the Buddha, but is more akin to the hair of Guanyin, the Buddhist Lord of Mercy.

The statue is based on gilt bronze prototypes from the 1700s. The snail curls, the nicely pleated shawl over his left shoulder, and the robe fanning out gracefully between his legs are all characteristic of such statues. The insides of gilt bronze pieces are hollow and are filled with objects during consecration; afterward, they are sealed with a metal plate incised with the crossed thunderbolts. This jade example is solid, but a motif of the crossed thunderbolts incised on the bottom imitates the style of the gilt bronze statues. There should be a ying-yang motif in the center of the two thunderbolts, but the jade example is incised with a fictitious four-character reign mark of Qianlong nianzhi, or "made in the reign of the Qianlong emperor."

Many clues in this piece justify dating it to the early 1900s: the alms bowl that has not been hollowed, the misunderstood topknot, and the reign mark placed in the center of a religious motif.


Exhibition History: Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century (Tateuchi Gallery, 11/10/2007 - 8/2008)
"The Resplendent Stone: Chinese Jades from the 18th-20th Centuries," SFO International Terminal, December 12, 2009 - June 6, 2010