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Chinese Bronze Figure of a Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha

Chinese Bronze Figure of a Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha

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Early to mid. 20th century, China.

Magnificent bronze figure representing bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, usually depicted as as a Buddhist monk. His name may be translated as ”Earth Womb”, ”Earth Store” or ”Earth Treasury”. Ksitigarbha is one of the four principal bodhisattvas in East Asian Mahayana Buddhism. The others are Samantabhadra, Manjusri and Avalokitesvara. Ksitigarbha is often regarded as the guardian of children and patron deity of deceased children and aborted fetuses in Japanese culture.

Crowned Ksitigarbha is seated in vajraparyankasana on a finely detailed double lotus pedestal with decorated borders. Like other bodhisattvas, Ksitigarbha usually is seen sitting or standing on a lotus throne, symbolising his release from rebirth. In Buddhist iconography, Ksitigarbha is typically depicted with a shaven head, and wearing a densely patterned flowing robe with with  incised foliate hem falling over his legs in undulous folds. The right hand holds a staff to force open the gates of hell and the left hand resting elegantly in dhyanamudra supporting a cintamani (wish-fulfilling jewel) to light up the darkness. His face with serene meditative expression, finely arched eyebrows, eyes downcast in contemplation, a slightly-smiling bow shaped mouth. Prominent elongated earlobes. In Chinese tradition, Ksitigarbha is sometimes depicted wearing a exquiste crown. The crown's long sash cascading finely on the shoulders.

Absolutely stunning cast bronze bodhisattva. The bottom of the pedestal is sealed with a plate of copper. Good condition. Age-related wear, abrasion and signs corrosion. Beautiful greenish patina. Staff is missing. Traces of possibly later gilding. Size approx. 26,5cm x 14,0cm x 14,5cm. 

Provenance: Dutch private collection

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  • Returns

    Returns and exchange will be accepted within fourteen days (14) of receipt at the purchaser’s cost to include freight and packaging. Items must be returned in the same condition as when they were shipped, and will not be accepted if damaged or altered in any way. Please inform us via email ( or by calling +358408408352 before sending. We do not accept returns more than 14 days after delivery.