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    Sale 2027

    Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    17 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 392

    A RARE SMALL GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA

    LIAO DYNASTY (907-1125)

    Price Realised  

    A RARE SMALL GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA
    LIAO DYNASTY (907-1125)
    Finely cast and shown seated in dhyanasana atop a lotus raised on a waisted circular pedestal, with right hand raised in vitarka mudra and a scroll held in the left hand, wearing robes loosely draped around the naked torso, the face cast with delicate features and with an urna below the snail curls of the hair
    5½ in. (14 cm.) high


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    The mudra of the right hand, which is an eccentric variant of the vitarka mudra, representing augmentation of the Doctrine, can also be seen in a larger gilt-bronze figure of Maitreya in the guise of a bodhisattva (20.2 cm.) in the collection of the British Museum illustrated by W. Zwalf, ed., Buddhism, Art and Faith, London, 1985, p. 204, no. 294. The authors note that this variation of the vitarka mudra is seen in several figures found in the Bojiajiao libray hall, constructed in 1038 at the Lower Huayan temple, Datong, Shanxi province. This mudra is evident in a large central figure of Buddha shown in a photograph of the Xia Huayan temple, illustrated by M. L. Gridley, Chinese Buddhist Sculpture Under the Liao, New Dehli, India, 1993, p. 72 (bottom). Two other small gilt-bronze figures of Liao date stylistically similar to the present figure are also illustrated by Gridley, op. cit., p. 95, fig. 136 (Buddha) and p. 109, fig. 152 (a bodhisattva in the Shanghai Museum). Each figure holds the right hand in the same mudra, and the base of the Shanghai figure is very similar to that of the present figure.

    Provenance

    Acquired in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1996.


    Pre-Lot Text

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