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    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 358

    A RARE WHITE MARBLE FIGURE OF A SEATED BODHISATTVA

    TANG DYNASTY (618-907)

    Price Realised  

    A RARE WHITE MARBLE FIGURE OF A SEATED BODHISATTVA
    TANG DYNASTY (618-907)
    Shown seated in sattvaparyanka with right hand resting atop the right leg, wearing a jeweled necklace, a bracelet, armlets and a diaphanous dhoti folded below the belly and falling in graceful folds along the thighs and knees, the shawl draped around the shoulders falling down the arms and backs of the thighs to drape gracefully atop the circular top of the lotus base carved around the sides with lotus petals and along the upper edge with stamen rising from the petals, the face well carved with small mouth, and elongated, slightly open eyes below incised curved brows, the hair dressed in trailing tresses and a large elaborate chignon in back and adorned in front with a foliate ornament
    12 in. (30.5 cm.) high, stand


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    While of comparatively small size and with less elaborate decoration, the present lot appears to belong to a group of Tang dynasty seated white marble figures of bodhisattvas from Xi'an in Shaanxi. See Zhongguo Meishu Quanji: Diaosu Bian, vol. 4, Beijing, 1988, pp. 50-1. nos. 51-2, for two larger excavated examples (73 and 78 cm. respectively), which exhibit a very similar treatment of the hair and scrolls of the jeweled necklace. The excavated figures and the present lot are also seated on similar lotus bases, consisting of alternating lappets beneath the stamen of the flower. These features can also be seen on a larger (48.3 cm.) white marble figure of a bodhisattva from Xi'an in the Hayasaki Collection, Tokyo, illustrated by O. Sirén, Chinese Sculpture from the Fifth to the Fourteenth Century, vol. 2, Bangkok, 1998 ed., pl. 383A. Also compare another similar seated bodhisattva of slightly larger size (53.6 cm.) in the Eisei Bunko Museum, illustrated in Chinese Buddhist Stone Sculpture: Veneration of the Sublime, Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, 1995, p. 129, no. 154, where one can again see the same type of beaded necklace with jeweled scrolls and closely related treatment of the lotus base.

    Provenance

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