Bonhams Achieves World Record Price For 16th Century Tibetan Painting

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art
17 Mar 2014
New York

New York (March 17, 2014) – Bonhams set a world record price for 16th century Tibetan painting on March 17 with the sale of a Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja mandala for $929,000 in the Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian auction. The striking mandala from the Ngor monastery was painted circa 1520-1533, and depicts a lineage that is called the 'early' or 'old' lineage according to Jamgon Ameshab Kunga Sonam (1597-1660). It is particularly notable for its finely detailed scrollwork.

Hundreds of bidders from 25 countries participated in the sale, adding to the excitement generated by the packed saleroom. New buyers joined established clients in the high-energy bidding, fed by international interest coming through on the telephones and live online. The sale was an impressive 82% sold by lot and an outstanding 97% sold by value.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of the March 17th sale. It's gratifying to see the market respond to quality work, and I was delighted the auction attracted such broad participation," remarked Edward Wilkinson, Bonhams Consulting Specialist in Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art.

Himalayan art dominated the sale's top lots. A 12th century copper alloy sculpture of Avalokiteshvara from Central Tibet reached $569,000, while an early 15th century Tibetan Buddha reached $461,000. In addition to the world record-setting Thirty-Two-Deity mandala, a Chakrasamvara mandala from 18th century Tibet sold for more than six times its estimate, reaching $461,000.

Nepalese highlights included a gilt copper figure of Yogambara from the 13th century that realised $785,000, and a 10th century representation of Devi that brought $209,000.

Fine examples from the ancient region of Gandhara were also in high demand. A 3rd/4th century Bodhisattva Shakyamuni achieved $389,000, and a winged Atlas figure from the same period brought $245,000.

"We are delighted and proud to have brought such outstanding works of art to Asia Week," noted Dessa Goddard, Vice President and Director of Asian Art, Bonhams North America. "Bonhams New York has demonstrated a commitment to this field and continues to enjoy strong results and support from the global collecting community."

Bonhams next sale of Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asia Art will take place in September 2014 at the Madison Avenue saleroom.
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Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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