Carved and modelled in the form of a pierced rockwork grotto framed by leafing bamboo, the central niche with the figure of Guanyin, the goddess of Mercy shown seated in lalitasana on a lotus (padmasana). She is flanked by the Golden Youth, Xancai on a lotus petal and the Jade Maiden, Longnu on a lotus leaf. Above and behind them are the kalasa or ambrosia bottle and a lotus vase respectively. The entire assemblage rises from a pond of calm water in which a carp is swimming. Enamelled directly on the biscuit with green, manganese and yellow.
For similar examples of these shrines enamelled on the biscuit see Chinese Ceramics in the Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, by Christian J.A. Jorg, published 1997, by the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, p 184 - 185.
Plate 204 showing Guanyin together with her acolytes and the carp leaping out of the waves, similar to our one shown here, is discussed by Jorg, and we quote: "this figure may have been made for a house altar, but it is also possible that it was produced as part of the assortment of exotic figures and groups for export to the West."
Gordon Lang, 'Polychrome Decoration' in: A Catalogue of Oriental Ceramics and Works of Art, ed. Anita Gray, London, n.d., p.44, no. 48.