On September 13 in New York, Christie's sells a 51 cm high Buddha in golden bronze made in Nepal 800 to 600 years ago, lot 620 estimated $ 600K. This hollowed figure served as a reliquary and still preserves a mixture of scriptures, fabrics and herbs.
The Sage is figured at the moment when he reaches the enlightenment after having finally repelled the demons. He is sitting in the position of the bhumisparsha mudra : the palm of the left hand is open upward for an offering and the right hand touches the ground to signify that Buddha's body is now providing the mystical connection between Earth and Heaven. The gaze is in retrospection, the third eye is prominent and the toes are splayed.
On October 3 in Hong Kong, Bonhams sells a 34 cm high Buddha in the same posture except that the lightning appears under the right hand. It was made in Tibet 600 to 500 years ago in copper alloy, gilt with the exception of the lapis dyed hair and of the offering bowl which here has survived. This figure is estimated HK $ 15M, lot 22.
On this piece which is more recent than the statuette discussed above, the deviation from the Buddhist canon is more visible, including a triangular face emphasizing the broad forehead at the expense of the chin and a sharp edged nose. The bust and arms are too long, probably deliberately to accentuate the commanding attitude. The patchwork robe inlaid with turquoises, garnets and lapis is inspired by the Chinese imperial silk garments.
It is the first of the the three lots highlighted by Bonhams in the video below.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Nepal at Christie's : SOLD for $ 3.85M
Tibet at Bonhams : SOLD for HK$ 18M