• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12555

    The Imperial Sale / Important Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art

    1 June 2016, Convention Hall

  • Lot 3303

    A MAGNIFICENT LARGE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI

    NEPAL, 14TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A MAGNIFICENT LARGE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI
    NEPAL, 14TH CENTURY
    The serene figure is richly gilt and modelled seated in dhyanasana on a double-lotus base with beaded rims with the right hand in bhumisparsa mudra, the gesture of ‘touching the earth’.  Wearing a tightly fitted monastic robe neatly gathered around the ankles with meandering folds and fine beaded hemlines, the figure’s face is detailed with eyes downcast and long pendent ears, each below a florette.  The forehead is centred with an urna that is embellished with an inlaid turquoise.  The underside base plate is sealed.
    18 5/8 in. (47 cm.) high


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The present figure is a testament to the consummate skill of the Newari artists. It is heavily cast with a well-proportioned body and covered with a layer of thick gilding. The benevolent expression and the soft contours of the limbs soften the overall appearance, demonstrating a balance between muscularity and gracefulness.

    The current figure exhibits features associated with the period of the Khasa Malla Kingdom, such as the athletic physique, beak-like nose, the downcast eyes widening at the sides, and upturned tips of the elongated earlobes. Compare to three figures from the Khasa Malla period that are very similar in style to the current lot, one is in the Ruben Museum of Art, accession no. C2006.24.1, HAR65687, the second in the Patan Museum, Nepal, see Himalayan Art Resource, item no. 59501, both without their stands; and the third with a singlelotus stand and a mandorla, in an Asian private collection (fig. 1). One distinguishing difference between the Khasa Malla examples and the current figure is the reprentation of knuckles on each of their right hands, which is not the case on the present figure.

    Provenance

    Angela & J Gallery, New York, 1993
    Offered at Christie’s New York, 27 March 2003, lot 142