Lot 71. A rare gilt copper-alloy figure of a Shakya patriarch, Tibet, 15th century; 19cm (7 1/2in) high. Estimate £ 7,000-9,000. Sold for £ 43,750 (€ 50,065). © Bonhams.
The figure seated in dhyanasana on a double-lotus base, the hands held in dharmachakra mudra, his hair cropped short, wearing heavy inner and outer patchwork robes, the hems incised with floral patterns and falling into graceful pleats around the ankles, flanked by two stalks of stylised lotus bearing a book and sword, the base sealed and incised with a double vajra.
Provenance: the Jeannette Claude Jongen collection of Buddhist Art.
Note: Compare a closely related portrait of Sakya Pandita Kunga Gyaltsen illustrated in Rossi and Rossi, Homage to the Holy – Portraits of Tibet's Spiritual Teachers, 2003, fig.22. Both figures have raised hands and hold the Padma stems that support the sword and sutra – common attributes among Sakya order patriarchs. Also compare with another Sakya patriarch sold in our New York rooms, September 14, 2015, lot 23.
Closely related examples sold at Sotheby's New York, 19 March 2008, lots 304-305 and especially 306. The fourth abbot of Ngor monastery, Gyaltshap Kunga Wangchuk. Another related figure, formerly in the Onno Jansen Collection, sold at Christie's New York, 22 March 2011, lot 336. The treatment of the lotus flowers compares with that of another portrait sold at Sotheby's New York, 24th September, 1997, lot 89 and another illustrated in Spink and Son Ltd., Light of Compassion, Buddhist Art from Nepal and Tibet, London, 1997, fig.12, pp.24-25.
Bonhams. FINE CHINESE ART, London, 12 November 2015