The bronze shows signs of age and use. Surfaces rubbed in places and gold wear. Parts of the head pyramid, one arm and the attributes in the hands are missing. Coral inlays now missing. The height measures c. 24 cm.
In Mahayana Buddhism, Avalokiteshvara is known as the Bodhisattva of compassion. Literally translated his name means ‘The Lord looking at the world with compassion’. Already at a young age Avalokiteshvara had resolved to support all living creatures and to help them to salvation. He swore an oath never to ease his efforts otherwise he should shatter into a thousand pieces. According to legend he thus wandered the world. As he paused to look at his work, he noticed that the suffering of the people had not diminished. This moment let him doubt, so that he broke into a thousand pieces. Immediately countless Buddhas came to him to put him together again. But this time they gave him a thousand arms and eleven heads, so that he could better fulfill his vow. (lvp)