A schist figure of Buddha Ancient region of Gandhara, 3rd/4th century
Lot 67W
A schist figure of Buddha
Ancient region of Gandhara, 3rd/4th century
Sold for US$ 100,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
A schist figure of Buddha Ancient region of Gandhara, 3rd/4th century
A schist figure of Buddha
Ancient region of Gandhara, 3rd/4th century
Standing in samapada, wearing voluminous robes with cascading folds modeling the body beneath, the palm of his webbed right hand carved with a chakra and raised in abhaya mudra, while his lowered hand holds the hem of his robe, the face with a gentle expression surmounted by a conical ushnisha and backed by a halo.
30 3/4 in. (78 cm) high

Footnotes

  • Four aspects make this piece rare among the surviving corpus of Gandharan devotional images. Firstly, it has a distinctive conical ushnisha, similar to a head from Taxila published in H. Ingholt, Gandharan Art in Pakistan, New York, 1957, no. 265. Secondly, the figure survives with both hands intact. Thirdly, the fingers of the right hand are joined by a thin plane of stone which can be interpreted as Buddha's webbed hand, an unusual mahalakshana (sign of a great man) also seen in Mathuran sculpture of the Kushan and Gupta periods. For instance, compare to a Buddha held in the Goverment Museum, Mathura (76.17) published in van Alphen (ed.), Tejas, New Delhi, 2007, p. 161.

    Lastly, the chakra carved in his palm also appears on an early bronze sculpture of Buddha in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2003.593.1). Behrendt discusses this feature, with relation to a sculpture from Mathura dated 161 CE, as an example of interactions between the two earliest schools of Buddhist art (Behrendt, The Art of Gandhara in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007, fig. 18 & no. 39, pp. 48-50). The cakra, webbed hand, and presumably conical ushinisha (tip now lost) can also be seen on a closely related example in the Museum fur Indische Kunst, Berlin (MIK I 31, see Doshi (ed.), Treasures of Indian Art: Germany's Tribute to India's Cultural Heritage, New Delhi, 1998, no. 11, p. 24)

    Provenance:
    Collection of a Prince, acquired before 1970
    Christie's, New York, 20 March 2009, lot 1242
    Property of a Private Trust
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