A copper alloy plaque of Buddha Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd century
Lot 10
A copper alloy plaque of Buddha Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd century
US$ 15,000 - 20,000
£8,800 - 12,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
A copper alloy plaque of Buddha
Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd century
Seated with the central fold of his heavy robe pooling in a semi-circle on top of the pedestal, his left hand clasps the thick hem, while his right hand is raised in abhaya mudra, his face with moustache, pronounced cheekbones, and arched eyebrows, his matted locks pulled over the ushnisha, with a nimbus behind and complete with the two original metal rivets that would fasten this plaque into its position on a metal stupa.
4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm) high

Footnotes

  • Highly portable metal Buddha images such as the present example were instrumental to the origins of Buddha images in China, originally incorporated into mortuary practices of the contemporaneous Later Han Dynasty (25 - 220 CE) before a fully fledged iconic tradition flourished in the Six Dynasties period (222 – 589 CE).

    As discussed by Stanley Abe, (Ordinary Images, Chicago, 2002, pp. 22-101) this seated type, with a large right hand in abhaya mudra, a voluminous hem in his left, and his robe covering both shoulders with the central fold resting above the pedestal, was replicated widely in China on bronze 'money trees' (see ibid., nos 2.25, 2.28-2.30, & 2.35, pp. 38-43) and tomb decoration, such as above the doorway of Mahao Tomb l in Leshan, Sichuan Province (see ibid., nos 2.9 & 2.19, pp.24-29).

    Compare also to similar examples from Gandhara and Central Asia, such as a gilt bronze formerly in the Fujiki collection (see Rhie, Early Buddhist Art of China and Central Asia, Leiden, 1999, fig. 2.29), the Reliquary of Kanishka (ibid., fig. 1.57), a relief in the Swat Museum, Saidu Sharif, S771 (ibid., fig. 1.28), and a schist figure in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 39.732.

    Through such a comparison the present lot embodies the exchange of culture and ideas from the furthest expanses of the Silk Road at the turn of the last millennium, made possible not by large images in stone, but by small images in metal.

    Provenance:
    Private American Collection
Activities
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