New York—Bonhams is pleased to be participating in Asia Week 2012, which brings together a variety of art outlets to celebrate Asian art from China, India, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas and Southeast Asia. Bonhams will highlight this week with three previews and auctions located at its New York headquarters at 580 Madison.
The Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art auction is comprised of approximately 250 lots will be held on March 19. Among the top lots of the auction are a stunning array of paintings and sculpture drawn from important private collections, such as the Paul F. Walter Collection, the Estate of Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, J. Russell Wherritt Trust and the Carl S. Dentzel Estate.
A top highlight from the Himalayan region is a 14th century large gilt copper alloy figure of Syamatara (pre-sale est. $150,000-$200,000). Rare for its large scale, this figure is seated in ardhaparyankasana on a double lotus base with one leg resting on a lotus socle, the other knee bent and laid flat on the pedestal with the foot lying against the opposite thigh. This sculpture is likely to have been cast by Newari craftsmen working under the patronage of large monasteries in central Tibet.
Another important discovery that appears in the Himalayan section of the sale is the dramatic 18th century thangka of Kurukulla (pre-sale est. $40,000-$60,000). Demonstrated through meticulous painted detail, is a hybrid of the Chinese and Tibetan style that was prevalent in the 17th and 18th centuries. This rare deity has been residing in a private collection unknown to scholars since it was carried out of Tibet more than 50 years ago.
The Indian painting section of the auction is highlighted by a very important discovery of a previously unrecorded work by the master Indian artist Bagta (fl. 1761-1814). This portrait of the imposing figure of Rawat Gokal Das celebrating 'holi' with his consorts is dated 1808 and measures 16 x 22 inches (pre-sale est. $30,000-$50,000). Bagta was featured in the landmark exhibition which opened at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich and is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 'Wonder of the Age, Master Painters of India, 1100-1900.'
Another fine Indian painting in the auction shows the same scene, a ruler celebrating holi from the classic late Mughal school of Lucknow. Here Mirza Muhammad Azam Shah is shown with his courtiers who are bedecked in splendid textiles on a terrace caked in coloured powder (pre-sale est. $12,000-$18,000).
This Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art auction will be on preview at the New York headquarters of Bonhams from March 15-19. The sale's illustrated catalogue will be available online in the preceding weeks, for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com.
Julie Saunders Guinta
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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 www.bonhams.com