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    Sale 2268

    Fine Chinese Art from the Arthur M. Sackler Collections

    18 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 354

    A VERY RARE LARGE DARK GREY STONE HAND OF A BODHISATTVA

    TANG DYNASTY (618-907), LONGMEN CAVES

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A VERY RARE LARGE DARK GREY STONE HAND OF A BODHISATTVA
    TANG DYNASTY (618-907), LONGMEN CAVES
    Carved as the left hand of a large figure of a bodhisattva grasping the neck of an elixir bottle, with remains of a shawl draped in folds over the wrist, remains of pigment
    16¾ in. (42.5 cm.) high, metal stand


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    The present lot would have belonged to a bodhisattva of massive size, and would have been positioned at a sharp angle so that the bottle would have been nearly perpendicular to the body. Bodhisattvas of this type are typically seen with right arm raised to the chest, and are found throughout the Longmen cave sites, often flanking central figures of Buddha. See A. McNair, Donors of Longmen, Honolulu, 2007, pp. 137-8, figs. 7.11-12 for in-situ illustrations in the 1920s and again in 1994 of a bodhisattva positioned to the left of a Buddha, holding a large bottle in the left hand in a very similar fashion, with the pointing finger extending beyond the neck of the bottle. Also see Longmen Liusan Diaoxiang Ji, Shanghai, 1993, p. 73, no. 80, for another bodhisattva of this type holding a bottle in the left hand in the same manner.

    Two further bodhisattvas with right arms raised and holding bottles in their left hands are illustrated in Complete Works of Statues in Longmen Grottoes, vol. 2, Beijing, 2002, p. 126 no. 339, where the figure flanks the left side of a Buddha on the right wall of Niche 356, and p. 191, nos. 528-9, depicting a massive bodhisattva posed in a similar manner on the left wall, frontal chamber of Cave 403 (Jingshan Temple).

    Provenance

    J.T. Tai & Co., New York, 1971.