Wearing iron-red head scarves over floral robes, their eyes downcast, with crosses around their necks
2014 in. (51.4 cm.) high
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Lot Essay

Clearly modeled after tradtional figures of the Chinese goddess Guanyin, these stately ladies curiously display Christian crosses. Guanyin, originally a Buddhist bodhisattva, slowly morphed over the centuries from a male deity to a female one, and in the China trade period became more and more like the Christian Mary, whose characteristics of compassion and mercy Guanyin shared.
Nearly identical, single examples were in the Mottahedeh Collection (Howard & Ayers, China for the West, London and New York, 1998, p. 615) and the Hodroff Collection (D.S. Howard, The Choice of the Private Trader, London, 1994, p. 259).
The Tibor Collection was formed over decades, growing to encompass every category of Chinese export porcelain, from small, charming teawares to massive pairs of important jars. The collector had a deep appreciation for the magnificent porcelains made for New Spain as well as for the lifelike charm and elegance of Chinese porcelain figure and animal models.

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