MING DIGNITARY HOLDING A SMALL CABINET
Statue of a man of letters standing on a lotus bud and holding a small cabinet. Pinkish terracotta, moulded, with a glaze composed of copper pigments which gives it the green colour. Large coat painted in green which falls down like a drapery, typical hat of learned people under the Ming Dynasty. Very nice patina due to age.
This statue is a Mingki that are characters who belong to the funerary rituals in China. The lotus flower is the symbol of virtue, pureness and perfection. It is also the symbol of summer and fertility. In Chinese, the word lotus is pronounced in the same manner as the words year and infant, having by this way a link with continuity and prosperity. In Buddhism, the lotus represents the complete purification of the body and the soul; it is one of the eight best auspices. Its roots are in the mud, its stalk is in the water and its flower floats on the water with great majesty. This represents the on-going progress of the soul through materialism, passing through the water of experience and then reaching the sun of enlightenment.