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    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 352

    A RARE DARK GREY STONE FIGURE OF A SEATED BODHISATTVA

    NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY (386-534), LONGMEN CAVES

    Price Realised  

    A RARE DARK GREY STONE FIGURE OF A SEATED BODHISATTVA
    NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY (386-534), LONGMEN CAVES
    The figure of Maitreya shown seated with legs pendent and crossed at the ankles atop a throne flanked by two lions with heads turned towards the bodhisattva, with right hand raised in vitarkamudra and left hand resting on the head of one of the lions, the elongated face flanked by long flat ears below hair drawn up behind a tall segmented crown centered by a figure of the seated Amitabha Buddha, the grey stone with surface adhesions
    12 5/8 in. (32.2 cm.) high, stand


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    A nearly identical, though larger (45 cm.) limestone figure of Maitreya, also seated cross-legged and flanked by two lions, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated by M. Hearn in Ancient Chinese Art. The Ernest Erickson Collection, New York, 1987, p. 86, no. 132, where it is dated to the Northern Wei dynasty. The author notes that similar figures of Maitreya flanked by lions are found in the Guyang caves at Longmen, which were decorated during the reigns of the Northern Wei rulers of the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

    Provenance

    J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1967.