Chinese Rare Shiwan (Shekwan) Ware | Lohan | Arahat | 1900

Arahat, or translated in Chinese as Lohan, is an important figure in Buddhist religion. There were originally only 18 Lohans, each were added throughout the evolution of the Chinese dynasties), and were introduced into China from India around the 1st/century A.D. It is said that Lohan supposedly moved through all the stages of the Buddhist ‘eightfold path’, and he conquered all the desires that enmesh a person in the continuous cycle of birth and death, and hence will no longer be reborn. He is regarded as a type of saint who has already attained Nirvana and is attributed with supernatural powers. Lohan was thought to collect all the relics of Buddha, built a splendid pagoda to house them, and then vanished into Nirvana.

This exceptional mud figure is beautifully glazed in a rust-colored base that shows through to the celadon outer glazing on his robe. It is beautifully detailed with its natural folds. His feet, (one leg pulled up over his left leg and held by both hands), detailed hands, chest, which shows his ribs as that of an ascetic, (a person who practices severe self-discipline and abstention), and expressive face/head are unglazed. The most exceptional features are his beard and eyebrows. They are glazed in white and shown as small “dots” outlining their shapes. His facial expression suggests he is in a contemplative mood.

Condition: Pristine and excellent: no chips or missing elements, repairs or crazing. This figure has an incised stamp of Wen Zhongling, signed in script, and was made early in the 20th/Century. Dimensions: 5-1/2”w x 4-1/4”d x 5-1/2”h (13.97cm x 11.43cm x 13.97cm).

Additional Information: 

Please refer to our Discovery section for historical information on Shiwan Ceramics | Mud Figures, and our Book section, for out- of-print books for sale on the subject.


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