An inscribed grey stone carving of Buddha Tang Dynasty, Dated by inscription 714
Lot 65
A rare inscribed grey stone carving of Buddha Tang Dynasty, dated by inscription to AD 714
Sold for £9,600 (US$ 15,055) inc. premium

Lot Details
A rare inscribed grey stone carving of Buddha
Tang Dynasty, dated by inscription to AD 714
The Buddha seated with legs folded beneath the long flowing robes tied at the waist on a graduating plinth raised on a double-lotus pedestal issuing from a stem on the rectangular plinth, the face with a contemplative expression, the head with tight curls set before a lotus-petal border within radiating lines, flanked by two female acolytes each standing on a waisted double-lotus pedestal and holding a floral sprig, one holding a vessel and the other a string of beads, all set before an arched mandorla, with a pair of recumbent lions lying on the step below the throne, the plinth incised with an inscription on all sides.
46.4cm (18¼in) high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance: Bought in China in the late 1930s by the great uncle of the present owners. The original purchaser was subsequently interned by the Japanese in China and returned to Europe after 1945 with the present lot among many other objects, some of which were bought from the famous Hong Kong dealer Warren King.

    Dated by inscription to the third year of Minhuang, corresponding to AD 714.

    In Mahayana Buddhism, the production of images of the Buddha was believed to be an act of merit for both artist and patron, and groups of lay Buddhists often pooled their patronage to commission stone steles such as the present example. The representation of a central figure of Buddha flanked by two attendants or Bodhisattvas was a Northern Wei innovation inspired by teachings in the Lotus Sutra, which was introduced into China during the sixth century.
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