Lot 19. A gilt bronze figure of a boddhisatva, Sixteen Kingdoms period (304–439); 7.5cm., 3in. Estimate 6,000 - 8,000 GBP. Lot sold 7,500 GBP. Photo courtesy Sotheby's 2015

cast seated on a rectangular pedestal, the hands folded in dhyanamudra, wearing long robes falling into voluminous folds, the face with a meditative expression and the hair piled up into a high chignon, wood stand and Japanese wood box . Quantité: 3.

ProvenanceMayuyama & Co. Ltd, Tokyo.

NoteThis figure of Shakyamuni belongs to the earliest examples of Chinese Buddhist sculpture. These early gilt-bronze Buddha figures, typically portrayed seated in dhyanasana, still display characteristics that may be traced back to Gandharan models, such as the treatment of the hair and robe, while at the same time testifying to the emergence of a distinctive Chinese style, evident in the angular body and the rectangular throne flanked by lions.

The present piece was probably once adorned with a backing mandorla, as seen on a larger figure of this type excavated in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, cast in relief with figures of attendants and flying apsaras below an umbrella canopy; see the exhibition catalogue China. Dawn of a Golden Age, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2004, cat. no. 45; and another in the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, included in the exhibition Gilt Bronze Buddhist Statues. China, Korea and Japan, Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, 1987, cat. no. 5.

Compare also a similar figure sold in our New York rooms, 21st September 2006, lot 111; three sold in these rooms, 30thMarch 1978, lot 53; 14th December 1982, lot 26; and 7th June 1988, lot 33; and a further example sold at Christie’s London, 2nd June 1989, lot 87. 

Sotheby's. The Soul of Japanese Aesthetics – The Tsuneichi Inoue Collection, Londres, 13 mai 2015