A Chinese figure of Budai, Kangxi (1662-1722).

The smiling Bodhisattva is depicted seated, draped in loose robes which leave his chest and corpulent abdomen exposed.

He holds a single pearl in his left hand, perhaps representing the Buddhist ‘wish granting jewel’.

The body has been press-moulded in two vertical sections, to which the separately modelled hands have been luted, 14.6cm.

The figure appears in the 1688 Burghley Inventory: ‘My Ladyes Dressing Roome, 1 Ball’d fryer sitting.’

European collectors of the 17th and 18th Centuries seem to have been particularly fond of Budai figures.


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