Quan Yin Head

The All-Arounder

  Quan Yin Head; Hebei Province, China; Early 20th C.; Marble; 11 W x 12 D x 22 H Inches; $4,895

The young man was at a crucial point on his journey. There was no turning back. He had gone too far. Sitting upon a large rock on a hillside, he contemplated all he had seen. Suddenly, without warning and of its own accord, a tear flew from his eye and landed on the ground. Taking the course of least resistance, it formed a furrow as it rolled down the hill. Soon another tear followed, then more, until his tears became a torrent. He let them flow. In a short while a lake formed. Roiling and churning, the water level rose rapidly until it approached his feet. The lake then became instantly calm and placid. Not a ripple was seen until the tip of a tightly wound lotus flower pierced the mirror-like surface. Rising steadily on a straight stem, the flower simultaneously opened revealing intense pink petals surrounding a golden glowing center. Finally, a moment after it fully bloomed this week’s New Arrival emerged.


Quan Yin Head with iron base shown on PRIMITIVE's first floor; Hebei Province, China; Early 20th C.; Marble; 11 W x 12 D x 22 H Inches; See related blog to learn more about Quan Yin


This week’s new Arrival features a marble head of Quan Yin. Sculpted in old China, the appeal of this piece transcends the quality of its carving. Known as the Buddhist god of compassion and mercy, Quan Yin has evolved into an icon capturing the imagination of people all over the world, Buddhist or not. An all-around deity, she is also regarded as the goddess of enlightenment; protector of those who are frail, mothers, children, and seafarers; teacher, healer, wish fulfiller and miracle worker; the embodiment of other goddesses; a central character in myths, novels, and works of art; the “Baby Buddha” because of her supposed capacity to grant children; and the first to hear pleas and receive gratitude. Although legend states Quan Yin was born from a tear in Buddha’s eye, she has become honored and revered in multiple cultures. This piece may not attract everyone, but it’s certain to mean many things to many people.