A rare gilt-bronze figure of Shakyamuni Xuande incised six-character mark and of the period
Lot 282
A rare gilt-bronze figure of Shakyamuni Xuande incised six-character mark and of the period
HK$ 1.8 million - 2.5 million
US$ 230,000 - 320,000
Lot Details
Ming gilt-bronzes from a private collection (lots 281-282)
A rare gilt-bronze figure of Shakyamuni
Xuande incised six-character mark and of the period
The heavily-cast Buddha seated in dhyanasana on a double lotus throne, his right hand resting downwards in bhumisparsha mudra and his left in avakasha mudra, wearing long flowing simple robes hanging from the left shoulder, falling in drapes at his legs and partly revealing his torso, the face in a contemplative expression flanked by elongated ears with pendulous earlobes below tightly-coiled hair rising to a high unisha, inscribed Da Ming Xuande nianshi, the base unsealed.
28cm high.


  • 明宣德 鎏金銅釋迦摩尼佛坐像 「大明宣德年施」刻款

    C.C.Teng & Co, Taipei, 1992

    Gilt-bronze figures incised with Xuande reign marks are much rarer than those with Yongle marks. In Ulrich von Schroeder's encyclopaedic study of bronzes in Tibetan monastery collections, only three Xuande-marked figures were identified, in contrast to the fifty-four Yongle-marked figures. Production was on a much smaller scale in the Xuande period, and there are also no official Chinese records in the Xuande period of Tibetan images being bestowed on high Tibetan lamas.

    The only other Xuande reign-marked figure of Shakyamuni of this large size that appears to be published is a closely related example in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A gift of Miss Lucy T. Aldrich (52.1844), it is illustrated by Ulrich von Schroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, pg.522, pl. 147B (fig.1).

    For other Xuande reign-marked figures of this large size, see a gilt-bronze figure of Amitayus from the collection of Philip Goldman, illustrated ibid, pg. 522, pl. 147C, later sold at Christie's London, 7 November 2006, lot 127. Compare also a gilt-bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara from the Speelman collection, sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 7 October 2006, lot 813.

    For a Yongle reign-marked gilt-bronze figure of Shakyamuni Buddha of similar size and iconography sold at auction, see the figure sold at Sotheby's Hong Kong, 17 May 1989, lot 450, and again, 5 October 2011, lot 2127. It was noteworthy for being dated to 1417, commissioned by Li Xing, Grand Eunuch at the courts of Yongle and Xuande, who accompanied his fellow Yunnanese Zheng He on his grand expeditions.


    相比鐫永樂年款的鎏金佛像來說,鐫刻有宣德年款的釋迦摩尼座像更為少見。從西方佛像研究學者烏爾裡希.馮.施羅德(Ulrich Von Schroeder)所著《西藏寺廟珍藏佛教造像研究大全》一書中可作初略統計,僅有三尊銅鎏金佛像鐫有宣德年款,而鐫有永樂年款的則共有五十四尊,可見宣德年間佛教造像產量非常稀少。另外,在明代宣德年間的官方史料中也很難查朝廷將宮廷製作佛教造像賜予西藏高僧的資料。
    傳世品中,唯一一件攜宣德年款並從造型及尺寸與本件佛像一致的銅鎏金釋迦摩尼座像,現藏於波士頓博物館中,由Lucy T. Aldrich女士捐贈(博物館編號52.1844),詳見烏爾裡希.馮.施羅德著,《Indo-Tibetan Bronzes》,香港,1981年,頁522,圖版147B(fig.1)。

    傳世品中,還見其他攜宣德年款但器形相對較大的銅鎏金佛造像,例如飛利浦.高曼(Philip Goldman)所藏一尊銅鎏金無量壽佛,見詳見烏爾裡希.馮.施羅德著,《Indo-Tibetan Bronzes》,香港,1981年,頁522,圖版147C,後於倫敦佳士得拍賣,2006年11月7日,拍品編號127。另見斯皮爾曼(Speelman)藏一尊銅鎏金觀音像,後於香港蘇富比拍賣,2006年10月7日,拍品813。

  1. Sally Fong
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Suite 2001, One Pacific Place
    Hong Kong
    Work +852 2918 4321