Lot 1259. A limestone head of a bodhisattva, Northern Qi dynasty (550-577); 13¼ in. (33.5 cm.) high. Estimate USD 50,000 - USD 60,000. Price realised USD 50,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2013
The head is finely carved with a serene expression conveyed by the slight smile of the mouth and the lowered lids of the eyes below the gracefully arched brows. The hair is drawn up behind a crown centered by a jeweled plaque and tied with ribbons that trail down the sides to partially obscure the ears. The pale grey stone is finely grained, stand.
Provenance: Christie's London, 5 June 1995, lot 102.
Note: This finely carved head of a bodhisattva is similar to one of comparable size (15 in.) in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, illustrated in Chinese Buddhist Sculpture from the Wei through the T'ang Dynasties, National Museum of History, Taipei, 1983, pp. 134-5, where it is dated late Northern Qi. It was also illustrated by O. Sirén in Chinese Sculpture: From the Fifth to the Fourteenth Century, vol. II, 1925, (1988 ed.), pl. 476 B, where it is dated to the Tang dynasty and ascribed to Henan province. The 'jewel'-centered foliate plaque that centers the crown is very similar to that in the crown of the present head.
Christie's. Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 21 - 22 March 2013