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Lot 185. A magnificent and large gilt-bronze figure of Buddha Shakyamuni, 17th-18th century; 46cm (18in) high. Estimate £ 80,000 - 120,000 (€ 93,000 - 140,000). Sold for £ 423,062 (€ 482,975). © Bonhams 2001-2019

Finely cast with eyes downcast in meditative expression, seated in dhyanasana atop a double-lotus pedestal, with the right hand reaching down towards the ground in bhumisparsha mudra, the left hand held gently in the lap in dhyana mudra, dressed in long flowing robes detailed with draping folds and incised floral hems, loosely open at the bare chest, with a prominent usnisha formed with tightly coiled curls.

NoteDisplaying tremendous power and presence, this powerful and large-scale figure of Buddha Shakyamuni is notable for the crisp casting and the meticulous attention to detail which is echoed in the gentle folds of the elegant monastic robes, finely embellished with foliate scrolls and diaper patterns.

The figure of Shakyamuni is one of the most widely represented subjects in Buddhist art. Modelled in the earth-touching gesture or bhumisparsha mudra, the Buddha recalls the moment of his Enlightenment, in which he called upon the earth as his witness of his battle against the temptations and attacks of Mara and his demons. The serene countenance conveyed by the gentle facial features, with the eyes depicted half closed in meditation and the long earlobes symbolising long life, follows the standard rules for the depiction of Buddha to ensure the deity was shown embodying maximum power.

Compare the size, facial features and embellished details of the present figure with a large gilt-bronze figure of the White Tara, circa 1700, illustrated in Cultural Relics of Tibetan Buddhism Collected in the Qing Palace, Beijing, 1992, fig.60. Also compare the style of the present figure with a smaller gilt-bronze figure of Shakyamuni Buddha, 18th century, illustrated by U.Von Schroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, p.550, no.157A.*

Bonhams. Fine Chinese Art, London, 16 May 2019