In 1930 a hoard including about 150 metal sculptures is unearthed in Kurkihar in present-day Bihar. Such a regrouping necessarily means the former presence in that place of a very important sanctuary whose history was erased when the Buddhist monasteries were destroyed to the ground by the Muslims. Preserved in the Patna Museum, this treasure has not been dissociated.
On October 3 in Hong Kong, Bonhams sells a 39 cm high Buddha, lot 16 estimated HK $ 8M. This statuette, made about 950 to 900 years ago in copper alloy inlaid with silver and copper, perfectly matches the style of the Kurkihar figures. In very good condition, it has a rich black patina due to ancient exposure to incense fumes. Like most Pala bronzes it has not been gilded.
Buddha stands on a double lotus. His figuration departs from the antique Buddhist iconography by the crown and by the simulation of jewels, two characteristics that will become common in their turn slightly later. In the opposite the expressive position of the fingers is a classical symbol.
The Pala Buddha is the second of three lots discussed by Bonhams in the video below, following a Tibetan bronze previously announced in this column.
SOLD for HK$ 22M including premium