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    Sale 2027

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 279

    A FINELY CARVED SOAPSTONE FIGURE OF A LUOHAN

    18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A FINELY CARVED SOAPSTONE FIGURE OF A LUOHAN
    18TH CENTURY
    The luohan shown seated on a separate base elaborately carved as a straw mat surrounded by a border of lotus scroll, raised on a network of simulated rockwork, with left hand resting on the raised right knee, also supporting the right arm in which he holds a tool to scratch his ear, the details of the face, moustache and beard finely rendered beneath the loosely draped cowl, the long, flowing robes incised and gilded with a lotus scroll on a wave ground
    4 in. (10.2 cm.) high


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    This luohan has been identified as Nagasena, who in Chinese iconography is traditionally shown scratching or cleaning his ear. According to the Milindapanha, the young Nagasena was instructed by Rohana and Assagutta before becoming the disciple of Dharmarakshita. Nagasena, who eventually headed the Sangha in the Sankheyya monastery, is known for his debate with King Menandros. According to the Milindapanha, Menandros asked Nagasena three hundred and four different questions and the latter's eloquent and erudite answers convinced the king to accept the Teachings of Buddha in their entirety.

    Provenance

    Acquired in 1973.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION