Japan, 16th-17th century, late Muromachi (1336-1573) to early Edo period (1615-1868)
The eleven-headed Kannon (Ekadashamukha Avalokiteshvara) carved standing in samabhanga on a separate double lotus base with a beaded rim, dressed in flowing robes open at the chest and draping across both shoulders, one hand clasped around a long neck vase, holding the nectar of Kannon’s compassion, the other outstretched, the face with a serene expression and painted eyes, the rock crystal urna below a diadem framing the coiffure, the topknot fronted by the face of Amida Nyorai, and further heads bearing a range of expressions.
HEIGHT 55.5 cm (the figure) and 67.5 cm (total)
Condition: Good condition with wear, age cracks, losses, repairs and touchups. Overall presenting very well.
Provenance: From a New England private collection.
Juichimen Kannon (lit. ‘eleven-headed Kannon’), is an important bodhisattva in the Esoteric schools of Buddhism. Atop the deity’s own head are eleven additional heads. Ten of these take the form of bodhisattvas and represent the ten stages toward enlightenment. The topmost head is that of Amida (Sanskrit: Amitabha), the Buddha from whom Kannon emanates.
Compare a related, yet significantly larger figure of Seishi Bosatsu, bearing similar features, also dated 16th-17th century, at Zacke, Fine Japanese Art, 2 December 2022, Vienna, lot 34 (sold for EUR 52,000). Also compare to a related figure of Kannon Bosatsu, dated to the 17th-18th century, at Zacke, Fine Japanese Art, 16 June 2023, Vienna, lot 60 (sold for EUR 10,400).
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