A RARE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
The iconography and large size of the figure is extremely rare, although another gilt-bronze figure of Buddha, surrounded by three smaller images of Buddha, in the Shodo Museum, Tokyo, is illustrated in Mizuno Seiichi, Chugoku No Choukoku: Sekibutsu. Kondobutsu/Bronze and Stone Sculpture of China: from the Yin to the T'ang Dynasty, Tokyo, 1960, pl. 107A. The Shodo Museum figure, incised with an inscription dated to the 13th year of Taihe, corresponding to 489, is stylistically very close to the current figure in form and iconography, with identical treatment of the figures, their drapery, and intricate detailing on the flaming mandorla, suggesting that the current figure may also be of the Taihe period. Compare also a gilt-bronze figure of identical iconography, incised with an inscription dated to the 22nd year of the Taihe reign, corresponding to 498, included in the exhibition Rijucho Jidai No Kondobutsu (Gilt Bronze Figures from Six Dynasties), Izumishi Kuboso Kinen Museum, Osaka, 1991, no. 62, and sold at Christie’s New York, 19th/20th September 2013, lot 1460.
For a Northern Wei gilt-bronze figure of similar quality sold at auction, see the figure of Buddha surrounded by the five Wisdom Tathagatas, dated 5th year of Huangxing, corresponding to 471, included in the exhibition Chugoku Kodai Choukoku Ten (Exhibition of Chinese Ancient Sculpture), Nihonbashi Takashimaya, Tokyo, 1959, no. C.7, and sold in our New York rooms, 14th September 2011, lot 315.