On May 30 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells as lot 368 a set of seven calligraphic albums 32 x 22 cm with fifty to sixty leaves each, constituting the whole of this sutra in the translation of Kumarajiva which was one of the earliest. Its writing in gold on dark blue paper displays an extreme luxury. The seventh album is dated to the fifth year of the Zhizheng period corresponding to 1345 in our calendar.
Under the Mongolian Yuan dynasty, Buddhism has almost the rank of an official religion in China. Zhizheng is the fourth era of the reign of Toghon Temür. Korea was a vassal state of the Yuan. Its king belonged to the Goryeo Dynasty.
The 28th Goryeo king had ceased to please the powerful Emperor of China, but all hopes were placed in his eldest son pushed to the throne in 1344 at the age of six. The Sutra manuscript was certainly prepared for the use of the young prince who died after a reign of four years.
SOLD for HK$ 31.6M including premium