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LARGE HISTORIC IRON SCULPTURE OF A THRONING BODHISATTVA

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LARGE HISTORIC IRON SCULPTURE OF A THRONING BODHISATTVA
Item Details
Description
Iron, China. Ming dynasty, dated 1521

This very rare iron sculpture, documented in an exhbition catalogue of the musuem for Applied Arts in Vienna in 1930, depicts a bodhisattva (Chinese Pusa) sitting on a throne in Lalitasana. The majestic and perfectly balanced character of this sculpture is so clear that one immediately thinks of a dignitary of the imperial court. And yet the figure is barefooted and sits on a lotus pedestal. This sculpture was reproduced in the exhibition catalog from 1930 and identified as a “Buddha”. However, no Buddha sits in Lalitasana wearing decorative necklaces. And yet, the Abhayamudra gesture (protection granting) is unusual for a bodhisattva and the introverted expression on its face and its lowered gaze instead befitting for a Buddha. For a direct comparison see the museum piece below. In addition to the very impressively formed head, the balanced composition of the floor-length robe’s folds is also notable and the rather dynamic lines of the folds’ fine play do not impair in the least the spiritual tranquility that this sculpture radiates, but rather loosen it in a delicate manner. On the open-work base is a floral emblem located in the middle and flanked by an inscription. On the left-hand side of this now almost completely illegible inscription is a vertically written date 正 德 十 六 年, the last character of which, Nian (year), stands alone all the way on the left. The Zhengde period of the Ming dynasty spanned from 1506 to 1521, thus placing this piece in the last year of the Zhengde period. This iron sculpture has been published as object number 52 in the catalog of the exhibition “On the Occasion of the 6th Meeting of German Orientalists”, held by the Museum for Applied Art in Vienna (then the Museum for Art and Industry). The original exhibition catalog is available. A clearly stylistically related iron sculpture – also of a bodhisattva – is located in the Viennese Museum of Ethnology (today the Weltmuseum Wien) and carries the inventory no. VKB1. The sitting posture is the same and the facial expression as well as the arrangement of the folds are very similar. The only difference is that the bodhisattva is sitting on a lion and might therefore be identified as Manjushri. This slightly larger sculpture, which also bears an inscription and date, was, however, produced somewhat earlier (1488). This figure has been reproduced and described in the exhibition catalog “4000 Years of East Asian Art” as no. 217.

HEIGHT 93.6 CM

From a private Viennese collection

鐵造菩薩尊坐像。中國,明代,1521年造。高93.6厘米。維也納私人舊藏。

Expertise: Wolfmar Zacken
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LARGE HISTORIC IRON SCULPTURE OF A THRONING BODHISATTVA

Estimate €12,000 - €24,000
Apr 28, 2017
See Sold Price
Starting Price €12,000
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0009: LARGE HISTORIC IRON SCULPTURE OF A THRONING BODHISATTVA
Sold for €30,00014 Bids
Est. €12,000 - €24,000Starting Price €12,000
Sculptures from China-Nepal and Archaic Jades
Apr 28, 2017 8:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 27%
Lot 0009 Details
Description
...
Iron, China. Ming dynasty, dated 1521

This very rare iron sculpture, documented in an exhbition catalogue of the musuem for Applied Arts in Vienna in 1930, depicts a bodhisattva (Chinese Pusa) sitting on a throne in Lalitasana. The majestic and perfectly balanced character of this sculpture is so clear that one immediately thinks of a dignitary of the imperial court. And yet the figure is barefooted and sits on a lotus pedestal. This sculpture was reproduced in the exhibition catalog from 1930 and identified as a “Buddha”. However, no Buddha sits in Lalitasana wearing decorative necklaces. And yet, the Abhayamudra gesture (protection granting) is unusual for a bodhisattva and the introverted expression on its face and its lowered gaze instead befitting for a Buddha. For a direct comparison see the museum piece below. In addition to the very impressively formed head, the balanced composition of the floor-length robe’s folds is also notable and the rather dynamic lines of the folds’ fine play do not impair in the least the spiritual tranquility that this sculpture radiates, but rather loosen it in a delicate manner. On the open-work base is a floral emblem located in the middle and flanked by an inscription. On the left-hand side of this now almost completely illegible inscription is a vertically written date 正 德 十 六 年, the last character of which, Nian (year), stands alone all the way on the left. The Zhengde period of the Ming dynasty spanned from 1506 to 1521, thus placing this piece in the last year of the Zhengde period. This iron sculpture has been published as object number 52 in the catalog of the exhibition “On the Occasion of the 6th Meeting of German Orientalists”, held by the Museum for Applied Art in Vienna (then the Museum for Art and Industry). The original exhibition catalog is available. A clearly stylistically related iron sculpture – also of a bodhisattva – is located in the Viennese Museum of Ethnology (today the Weltmuseum Wien) and carries the inventory no. VKB1. The sitting posture is the same and the facial expression as well as the arrangement of the folds are very similar. The only difference is that the bodhisattva is sitting on a lion and might therefore be identified as Manjushri. This slightly larger sculpture, which also bears an inscription and date, was, however, produced somewhat earlier (1488). This figure has been reproduced and described in the exhibition catalog “4000 Years of East Asian Art” as no. 217.

HEIGHT 93.6 CM

From a private Viennese collection

鐵造菩薩尊坐像。中國,明代,1521年造。高93.6厘米。維也納私人舊藏。

Expertise: Wolfmar Zacken
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Galerie Zacke
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Vienna, 1010
Austria
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