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A large stucco head of Buddha
A large stucco head of Buddha


A large stucco head of Buddha
Gandhara, 4th/5th century
The ovoid face with full lips, downcast eyes, and wavy hair pulled over the ushnisha
21¼ in. (54 cm.) high
Isao Kurita Collection, Japan, acquired 1983-85
I. Kurita, Gandharan Art II: The World of the Buddha, 2003, p. 297, no. 912
M. Akira, Gandharan Art and Bamiyan Site, 2006, p. 118, no. 88
Gandhara Art and Bamiyan Site, Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, 28 December 2006 - 30 March 2007; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, 10 April - 18 May 2008; Fukui City Art Museum, 28 May - 6 July 2008

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Lot Essay

This superb stucco head demonstrates distinct differences between the styles of Hadda (Afghanistan) and Taxila and Talbera (Pakistan). The present example belongs to the latter group and displays very interesting characteristics. At the time it was not uncommon to rework earlier stucco sculptures that might have been damaged by adding new plaster and remodeling in a different style. There are fragments known of such heads modeled over older ones. This head is of the earlier style, depicting wavy hair with traces of curly hair on top, and would support the theory of wavy hairstyles predating the curly ones.

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