Japanese Gilt Traveling Shrine of Seated Kannon

c. 1900
$2,980 USD
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W: 4.75" D: 3.5" H: 11.75"
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The simple exterior of even black lacquer that encases this 19th-century Japanese traveling shrine belies the splendor within. The hinged doors open to reveal an intricately carved gilt figure of the bodhisattva Guanyin, known in Japanese Buddhism as Kannon. Described as the "Buddha of Infinite Compassion," Kannon is the embodiment of mercy and makes himself available to all who call upon him with all their mind.

Kannon is depicted here seated in the diamond position upon a double lotus plinth, set above a stepped base. Backed by a leaf-form nimbus carved with swirling clouds, he sits in focused meditation with his right hand held in the abhaya mudra, a gesture of comfort, blessing, and protection.

This petite Japanese shrine was likely acquired by a Buddhist follower on a religious pilgrimage. Devotees would often return home with a traveling shrine as a memento of their journey or would donate them to a temple as an expression of religious devotion.

Additional Dimensions:
With Open Doors: 11"W

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