A  sandstone head, Northern Wei, possibly Yungang

Lot 14. A  sandstone head, Northern Wei (386-534), possibly Yungang. Height 9 3/4  in., 23.8 cm. Estimate 15,000 — 20,000 USD. Lot sold 50,000  USD. © Sotheby's.

the elongated face with calm expression and gentle smile above a dimpled chin, the narrow eyes set diagonally below the gracefully arched brows, the hair parted in the middle and pulled into a tall chignon and enhanced with black pigment, the granular stone of a buff color, mounted to a wood stand.

Provenance: Mayuyama & Co., Ltd, Tokyo, acquired between 1960-1969.

Note: This stone head is very close stylistically to some of the bodhisattva heads from the Yungang cave,  Shanxi; see Chinese Buddhist Sculpture from the Wei Through the Tang Dynasties, The National Museum of History, Taipei, 1983, nos. 2,3, 4,5,6, although the hairstyle of this figure differs substantially from the others. 

Sotheby's. Fine Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art. New York, 19 march 201