A bronze figure of Guanyin inlaid with silver

Signed Shih-sou, 16th/17th century AD, China

Height of bronze: 22 cm, 8.6 inches

Shih-sou figures are known for the fluidity of their modelling and very fine casting – resulting in a bronze of great refinement and beauty. Parallels can be drawn with the modelling of blanc de Chine figures produced at Te-hua around the same period. The distinctive look to the metal comes from its composition – being an alloy of copper (tin, zinc and lead) and characteristic of bronze produced in the Jiangnan region of China during the second half of the Ming Dynasty. 

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