Lot 528. An very rare gilt and enameled porcelain figure of Amitayus, Qianlong period (1736-1795);4 5/8in (11.8cm) high. Estimate: US$10,000 - US$15,000. Sold for US$ 50,075 (€ 44,122) inc. premium. © Bonhams 2001-2019
Portrayed seated in dhyanasana, the hands held in dhyanamudra and supporting a amrita kalasha adorned with jewels picked out in iron-red enamel, wearing sanghati with borders of undulating lines between raised pearls, the serene expression with downcast eyes, flanked by elongated earlobes below the blue enameled hair, the ushnisha crowned with a jewel, wood stand.
Provenance: Virginia Hobart (1876-1958), thence by descent
Note: The vase held by this finely modeled figure identifies him as Amitayus, the deity invoked to cure illness and future rebirth in Western pureland. The vase is believed to contain the ambrosia of immortality, nectar pills and is topped by a branch of the Ashoka tree, symbolizing long life and good health, thereby clearly displaying Amitayus' association with longevity.
Brightly colored porcelain images in the famille rose palette from the Qianlong period are well known. However the present lot is particularly rare in that it was made to imitate a Tibetan-style gilt-bronze figure.
Bonhams. Chinese Works of Art, New York, 18 March 2019