Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF A BODHISATTVA
VARIOUS PROPERTIES
A RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF A BODHISATTVA

MING DYNASTY, 15TH CENTURY, PROBABLY ZHENGTONG PERIOD (1436-1449)

Details
A RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF A BODHISATTVA
MING DYNASTY, 15TH CENTURY, PROBABLY ZHENGTONG PERIOD (1436-1449)
The bodhisattva is shown seated in dhyanasana on a double-lotus base, with hands in dharmachakra mudra, each hand holding the ends of a lotus stem that extends up the arms to the shoulders, and wearing a dhoti folded over at the waist beneath a girdle of beaded garlands that falls in crisp folds around the legs, as well as a long shawl draped over the shoulders that billows around the sides and over the arms. The figure is further adorned with elaborate beaded jewelry and an eight-point crown that surrounds the high topknot surmounted by a flaming pearl.
9½ in. (23.9 cm.) high
Provenance
Acquired in New York in the 1990s.

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

The early Ming emperors were mostly devout Buddhists, in particular of Tibetan esoteric Buddhism. The Yongle Emperor was by far the most generous patron, donating large quantities of Buddhist works of art and artifacts to the Tibetan monasteries. These magnificent court pieces were based primarily on existing Tibetan and Nepalese prototypes of the fourteenth century, but with an unprecedented refinement and sumptuousness that is symbolic of the consolidation of power in the new dynasty. This new style continued through the Xuande period, albeit with dwindling creativity and vitality in design. By the Zhengtong period, court patronage was not nearly as vigorous as in the previous reigns, and not nearly as many pieces were commissioned by the court. Pronounced indigenous Chinese influences on the facial features and clothing are evident on the current figure and are equally pronounced on another gilt-bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara, dated by inscription to 1441, in the collection of the Beijing Palace Museum, illustrated in Sculptures in the Collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2012, no. 213, indicating the stylistic transition of Chinese Buddhist bronzes in the second half of the Ming period.

More from Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

View All
View All