113
113
A RED SANDSTONE STELE INSCRIBED WITH A SUTRA, CHUANG
TANG DYNASTY, DATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH AD 898
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 600,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
113
A RED SANDSTONE STELE INSCRIBED WITH A SUTRA, CHUANG
TANG DYNASTY, DATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH AD 898
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 600,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Gorō

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Hong Kong

A RED SANDSTONE STELE INSCRIBED WITH A SUTRA, CHUANG
TANG DYNASTY, DATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH AD 898
formed from two octagonal sections, the base carved in relief with four addorsed Buddhas seated in dhyanasana on four sides, wearing monastic robes with incised drapery folds, the separate upper section engraved vertically overall around the facetted sides in small regular script, one side with a dedication by Yang Yanzhen dated to the eleventh day of the seventh month in the fifth year of the Qianning period (corresponding to AD 898, Tang dynasty), followed by the complete Chinese transcript of the (Sarvadurgatipariśodhana) Usnisa Vijaya Dharani sutra, all arranged on each side in three columns below a row of eight Buddhas at the apex, each carved in low relief, seated within a recessed tear-shaped niche, the pale pink stone with a dark grey patina
35.8 cm., 14 1/8  in.
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Provenance

Acquired between the 1950s and 60s.

Catalogue Note

The inscription can be translated:
On the eleventh day of the seventh month in the fifth year of the Qianning period [corresponding to AD 898, Tang dynasty], [Buddhist] follower Yang Yanzhen, together with his whole family, initiated to make this sutra pillar, for all the Nāga [dragon gods] in the twenty-eight heavens, or those in the present land. Repaying the four kindnesses, aiding the three lower realms, [wishing for] those fallen into the dark, kings, [parivāra], homeless ghosts, as well as parents, with the aid of the merits and virtues [of the present deed], to be reborn in the Pure Land. May all sentient beings in Dharmadhātu benefit [from it].
The efficacious version of [Sarvadurgatipariśodhana] Usnisa Vijaya Dharani[Sutra] with additional text.

Tang stelae of this type, inscribed with the sutra, were inspired by earlier, 5th century, stelae found in cave temples, such as one dated in accordance with AD 428 and now in the collection of the Gansu Provincial Museum, Lanzhou, illustrated in Angela Falco Howard et al., Chinese Sculpture, New Haven and Beijing, 2006, p. 216, pl. 3.15, which was donated by Gao Shanmu from Jiuquan during the Northern Liang period (AD 398-439). This stele consists of five parts and in addition to the inscription is also decorated with seven seated Buddhas and the bodhisattva Maitreya. 

Compare further two Northern Liang period stelae of this type published in Zhongguo meishu quanji [Complete series on Chinese art], vol. 3, Beijing, 1988, pls. 31-32, the former in the Jiuquan City Museum, Gansu province and the latter in the Gansu Provincial Museum in Lanzhou; and a third, attributed to the mid-5th century, in the Museum of Indian Art, Berlin, illustrated in Matsubara Saburō, Chūgoku bukkyō chōkoku shiron/Chinese Buddhist Sculpture, Tokyo, 1995, plate vol. 1, pl. 30a.

Chinese Art through the Eye of Sakamoto Gorō

|
Hong Kong