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A GREY STONE HEAD OF BUDDHA
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN 
A GREY STONE HEAD OF BUDDHA

TANG DYNASTY, CIRCA 700, LONGMEN CAVES

Details
A GREY STONE HEAD OF BUDDHA TANG DYNASTY, CIRCA 700, LONGMEN CAVES The full face carved with a serene meditative expression, with small, round chin, and eyes half-closed below sharply curving eyebrows, all below a pronounced usnisa, the hair indicated by the rough-hewn surface of the stone 13½ in. (34.3 cm.) high, stand
Provenance
Christie's, New York, 20-21 March 1997, lot 353.

Lot Essay

The present head, though smaller, is comparable to the widely published head of Buddha in the Avery Brundage Collection, illustrated by d'Argencé, ed., in Chinese, Korean and Japanese Sculpture, Japan, 1974, p. 214, no. 106. See, also, Longmen Caves Research Institute, ed., Longmen liusan diaoxiang ji (The Lost Statues of the Longmen Caves), Shanghai, 1993, p. 49, no. 56, for the same head. The Brundage head, dated to the early 8th century, is specifically located to the Leigu Cave complex in the Eastern Hills of Longmen, Henan province. From Japanese publications which show the head in situ before 1929, when it was included in the Berlin Exhibition of Chinese Art, it appears that it was once attached to the principal Buddha in the main cave of the complex.
Other comparable heads of similar size are illustrated by Longmen Caves Research Institute, ed., ibid.. See p. 55, no. 63, for one in the Victoria and Albert Museum and p. 57, no. 65, for one in the Tokyo National Museum.
Compare, also, the head of a bodhisattva from Longmen illustrated in Ancient Chinese Buddhist Sculpture: The C.K. Chan Collection, Taiwan, 1989, no. 10. The facial features on this head are very similar to those of the present head of Buddha, as are those of the heads of the two stone bodhisattva figures sold in these rooms, 21 September 1995, lots 301 and 302, formerly in the collection of Stephen Junkunc III.

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