Lot 769. A polychrome lacquered wood figure of a luohan, Jin-Yuan dynasty, 12th-14th century; 26 in. (66 cm.) highEstimate USD 20,000 – USD 30,000Price realised USD 22,680. © Christie's 2022

The seated figure is shown with the hands held before the chest and wearing simple loose robes painted dark red. His head is turned slightly to the right and his face with strong features are accented by a short curly beard, mustache and brows, and piercing, black-inset eyes.

ProvenanceSold for the Benefit of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Christie’s New York, 27 November 1991, lot 24.

NoteFor a comparable figure, see the marble luohan from the Jin period, dated 1180, in the Avery Brundage Collection, illustrated by d'Argencé, et al., Chinese, Korean and Japanese Sculpture, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 1974, pl. 138, and again in Chinese Art under the Mongols, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1968, pl. 17. That figure, like the current figure, has similar strong facial features, including high cheekbones and piercing eyes set off by a curly beard, mustache and brows. The realism of each is almost portraiture.

Christie's. Important Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, New York, 25 march 2022