A gilt copper alloy seated Buddhist figure Liao dynasty

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Lot 74
A gilt copper alloy seated Buddhist figure
Liao dynasty

Sold for US$ 45,075 inc. premium

Chinese Works of Art

17 Dec 2019, 10:00 PST

Los Angeles

A gilt copper alloy seated Buddhist figure
Liao dynasty
Attired in a tall cylindrical crown and princely raiment, holding his right hand in abhaya mudra while his left lies in his lap, supported on an open lotus flower with vertical stamens in raised relief visible in the spaces between the upper lotus petals; the surfaces all displaying traces of gilt.
5 1/2in (14cm) high

Footnotes

  • For a similar crown and lotus plinth, see the Liao gilt bronze figure of Vairocana in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, as published in Denise Leidy, Wisdom Embodied: Chinese Buddhist and Daoist Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2010), p.123, cat. no.26. Leidy there suggests the intriguing possibility that the Metropolitan Museum Vairocana was but one element of a three dimensional Vajradhatu mandala. The aperture on the back of the present lot, though possibly just a casting flaw, could suggest that the current figure might also have been merely one element of a larger assembly, either one of two Bodhisattvas in a triad, or a more unusual esoteric mandala like Leidy suggests, as hinted at by the cylindrical headgear.

    For a similar cylindrical crown with ribbons trailing to the shoulders and more complete lotus base, see the Liao gilt bronze figure of Vairocana sold in Christie's New York sale 11928, 17-19 March 2016, lot 1408.
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