A RARE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF AVALOKITESVARA NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, DATED TO THE SECOND YEAR OF SHENGUI PERIOD (IN ACCORDANCE WITH 519)
Saburo Matsubara, Zoutei Chugoku Bukkyo Choukoku Shi Kenkyu [Chinese Buddhist Sculpture - A study based on bronze and stone statues other than works from cave temples], Tokyo, 1966, pls. 79a-c.
Saburo Matsubara, Chugoku Bukkyo Choukuku Shi Ron/History of Chinese Buddhist Sculpture, Tokyo, 1995, vol. I, pls. 167a-b.
"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."
Several smaller sculptures of standing figures framed against mandorlas, including Avalokitesvara and Maitreya, are recorded in private and museum collections, but the majority lacks any inscription, unlike the current figure, which is dated in accordance with 519. For two closely related but undated figures of Maitreya in the Freer Gallery, see Hugo Munsterberg, Chinese Buddhist Bronzes, Tokyo, 1967, pls. 21 and 22. Compare also an Eastern Wei gilt-bronze figure of Maitreya, dated to 536, formerly in the collection of Duanfang and now in the collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, C355, illustrated by Osvald Siren, Chinese sculpture from the fifth to the fourteenth century, New York, 1925, pl. 158. For another example sold at auction, see a figure sold in our New York rooms, 15th September 2010, lot 286.