The size of this figure and the following lot suggests that they could have been taken from a large niche carved among the principal caves at Longmen, near Luoyang in Henan province.
The pose, modeling of the supple torso and 'U'-shaped folds of the skirt can be seen on other bodhisattvas in such caves as the Jinan, Erlianhua South and Leigutai Middle Caves, which are believed to be from the late seventh and early eighth centuries. See Longmen wenwu baoguan suo and Beijing daxue kaoguxi, Zhongguo Shiku (Chugoku sekkutsu); Longmen shiku, vol. 2, Tokyo and Beijing: Heibonsha and Wenwu Press, 1988, pls. 187, 188, 194 and 256; and Longmen wenwu baoguan suo, Longmen shiku, Beijing Wenwu Press, 1980, pls. 184, 185.
Refer, too, to photographs of the Longmen caves taken between 1918 and 1920, Tokiwa Daijo and Sekino Tadashi, Shina Bukkyo Shiseki, vol. II, Kyoto, 1925-1930. A bodhisattva from the Eastern Hills, Longmen, in the same posture with right hand raised and left hand extended and grasping an elixir bottle, shown with accompanying lokapala, is in pl. 75-2.
A comparable figure, with left hand holding up an elixir bottle and right hand to the side, now in a private collection, is illustrated by Sirn, op. cit., vol. 4, pl. 463 and more recently in Longmen shiku yanjiuso, Longmen liusan diaoxiang ji (Lost Sculptures from Longmen), Shanghai Renmin meishu chubanshe, 1993, pl. 78.
Compare, also, the pair of very fine free-standing bodhisattvas in the University Museum, Philadelphia; also, the headless stone figure in the Freer Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., with scarf draped similarly across the chest and dhoti tied around the hips and knotted in front, published by Osvald Sirn, op. cit., vol. 3, pls. 377 and 378.