• Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works  auction at Christies

    Sale 2196

    Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art Including Property from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    15 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 262


    SUI DYNASTY (581-618)

    Price Realised  


    SUI DYNASTY (581-618)
    Well carved standing with body arched slightly backwards atop a lotus base raised on a rectangular plinth, wearing a shawl draped around the shoulders and torso and necklaces and beaded chains that loop in deep graceful curves atop the dhoti folded over at the waist and falling in crisp folds to the tops of the bare feet, the face carved with gentle expression and the hair pulled up into a topknot behind a pierced, bead-draped foliate crown festooned with florets and long trailing ribbons, all framed behind by the petal-shaped mandorla, the stone of pale pinkish color
    23 7/8in. (60.8 cm.) high

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    Compare the closely related, though much larger (103 cm.) figure of a standing Guanyin, excavated at Laohucheng village in Tongguan County, Shaanxi, 1963, included in the exhibition, Buddhist Sculpture from China: Selections from the Xi'an Beilin Museum - Fifth through Ninth Centuries, China Institute, New York, 2007, pp. 83-4 and illustrated on the cover.

    See another larger figure of Guanyin, also said to be from Shaanxi, shown standing in a similar pose on a lotus-petal base and similarly adorned with elaborate jewelry, dated to the Sui dynasty by Akiyama and Matsubara in Arts of China, vol. II; Buddhist Cave Temples, New Researches, Tokyo, 1969, p. 162, no. 153. In his discussion of Sui dynasty sculpture in The Arts of China to AD 900, Yale University Press, 1995, W. Watson notes that some examples "present an unusual frontal outline: a narrow high waist and a greatest breadth near to the knees", the latter being very true of the present figure. He also points out that the Guanyin type from Shaanxi and western China, while upright, has a more relaxed and natural stance, and is richly decorated, with "head-ribbons and body-scarves".

    Technical examination report available upon request.

    Special Notice

    From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot which it owns in whole or in part. This is such a lot.


    Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Worch, New York.
    J.J. Lally & Co.


    Chinese Archaic Bronzes, Sculpture and Works of Art, J.J. Lally & Co., 2 June-27 June, 1992, no. 3.