• Important Chinese Ceramics and auction at Christies

    Sale 2731

    Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

    1 December 2009, Hong Kong

  • Lot 1965


    Price Realised  


    QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

    Finely woven to depict a figure of Amitayus, the serene face framed by pendulous ears below the hair arranged in whorls, garbed in a voluminous robe falling in folds about the body, exposing a bare torso, the body eminating a flaming aureole under a bejewelled canopy, the deity is seated in vajrasana on a large lotus flower base and supported on an elaborate galleried platform stand, ornately detailed with dragon-form columns, all below a panel of calligraphy, entitled: 'An Imperial verse, respectfully compiled: in praise of the Buddha of Infinite Life', the characters woven with beige threads against a mulberry-blue ground
    21 3/4 x 53 7/8in. (66.2 x 136.8cm.)

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    Amitayus is known as the 'Buddha of Infinite Life' and the 'One who grants long life'.

    The text may be translated as:

    An Imperial verse, respectfully compiled: in praise of the Buddha of Infinite Life

    He who lived for an eternity, for one hundred billion years on the blessings of his sincere followers. His incalculable merits helped him attain the enlightened ideal state. His powers are as great as the sun and the moon. His merits are boundless. His blessings are founded on inner peace and chastiy. His longstanding spirituality made him a saint in Heaven, and earned him infinite longevity. He is victoriously bathed in Heaven's generosity. This was created for the ceremony to celebrate his boundless virtues. Amitayus sits on a blue lotus, his robes arranged like rocks beneath him, as if he is seated on a mountain top

    It has been noted that a technique of discontinuous supplementary weft had been used by the weaver to capture the details of the Buddha and to reproduce the imperial poem, op. cit., 2006, p. 76.

    A very similar kesi panel, with the additional background details surrounding the figure of Amitayus and an inscription dating it to the Renwu year (1762), is the Beijing Palace Museum collection and illustrated in Embroidered Pictures, The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2005, no. 110. From the catalogue description, the minute details of the Beijing panel is finely painted with ink, as is the present example. Comparing the Beijing hanging scroll and the present example, it is interesting to note the similarities in their stylistic composition and exquisite quality of workmanship. It is possible to conclude that the present scroll was most probably a special commission by the Imperial court and manufactured by the Jiangnan weavers before given as a gift to a specific temple.


    A Swedish private collector whose ancestors were in China in the early 20th Century and who were closely connected to the King of Sweden's visits previous to that
    Linda Wrigglesworth, 1994

    Pre-Lot Text



    N. Tingley, Buddhas, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, 2009, p. 76-77, pl. 19


    Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, Buddha, 31 January - 19 April 2009