Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
A VERY RARE AND SUPERB GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI
A VERY RARE AND SUPERB GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI
A VERY RARE AND SUPERB GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI
1 More
A VERY RARE AND SUPERB GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI
4 More
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE ASIAN COLLECTION SOLD TO BENEFIT MENTAL HEALTH CHARITIES IN ASIA
A VERY RARE AND SUPERB GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI

INCISED XUANDE SIX-CHARACTER PRESENTATION MARK IN A LINE AND OF THE PERIOD (1426-1435)

Details
A VERY RARE AND SUPERB GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI
INCISED XUANDE SIX-CHARACTER PRESENTATION MARK IN A LINE AND OF THE PERIOD (1426-1435)
The figure is seated in dhyanasana on a double-lotus base, with his right hand in bhumisparsamudra, his left hand in dhyanamudra, wearing a softly pleated robe draped over the left shoulder and falling in rounded folds on the base, the serene face is framed by long pendulous ears with vertical slits and hair arranged in rows of tight whorls surmounted by a domed usnisa, incised with a six-character mark, Da Ming Xuande nian shi, ‘Bestowed in the Great Ming Xuande Period’ on the top of the base.
10 5/8 in. (27 cm.) high, box
Provenance
A New York private collection
Sold at Sotheby’s New York, 17 September 2003, lot 22

Brought to you by

Priscilla Kong
Priscilla Kong

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

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

Early Ming dynasty Buddhist gilt-bronzes are known for their exceptional qualities as exemplified by the present seated figure of Shakyamuni. Of particular note is the outstanding execution of fine details from the subtle groves to denote the facial features, realistic thin folds of the robe and high relief of the lotus petals forming the base. As with their Mongol Yuan dynasty predecessors, the Ming regime continued close political ties with Tibet, and with this endeavour several missions were dispatched during the early Ming period in attempt to forge stronger diplomatic ties with Tibetan religious leaders. For such missions, a number of Buddhist images similar to the present example were commissioned as presentation gifts to Tibetan lamas.

Compared with gilt-bronze figures from the early Yongle period, such as the figure of Maitreya in the present sale, see lot 2702, Xuande figures have broader facial contours with less arched eyebrows and eyes, and broader petals each with a three-point curl at the tip.

The closest comparable example to the present figure is a gilt-bronze Xuande-marked figure of Buddha (27.7 cm. high) gifted by Miss Lucy T. Aldrich to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, see accession number: 52.1844, which is nearly identical in style to the present figure but with extensive wear to gilding.

For Yongle-marked figures of Buddha, compare with an example (27.5 cm.) sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 26 November 2014, lot 3105, which would have been set in a repoussé throne, such as the example in the British Museum, illustrated in Arts of Asia, Sept-Oct 1994, vol. 24, p. 84, no. 5, and the figure formerly in the Speelman Collection, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 7 October 2006, lot 808; and a smaller Yongle figure (19 cm.) with effaced mark sold at Christie’s London, 6 May 1975, lot 32, illustrated by Ulrich von Schroeder in Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, p. 521, no. 146D.

More from Buddhist Art Under the Empire

View All
View All