A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像
A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像
A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像
A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像
A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像
A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像
A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像
181

A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像

Estimate: 150,000 - 250,000 GBP

A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD | 北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像

Estimate: 150,000 - 250,000 GBP

Lot Sold:325,000GBP

Lot Details

Description

A RARE LARGE GILT-BRONZE VOTIVE FIGURE OF PADMAPANI

NORTHERN WEI DYNASTY, FOURTH YEAR OF THE YONGPING PERIOD, CORRESPONDING TO 511 AD

北魏永平四年(511年) 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音立像


well cast standing in abhanga on a lotus pedestal base, the left hand holding a stem and the other grasping a flask, the slender body dressed with a diaphanous dhoti and long scarf draping over the shoulders and upper arms, the face with a pensive expression below hair gathered in a high chignon, against a mandorla festooned with a circular halo with radiating lotus petals and swirling flames extending to the pointed tip, all supported on a four-legged platform adorned with floral motifs, inscribed to the back of the stand and continued to one side with a partially decipherable dedicatory inscription, dated to the fourth year of the Yongping period (511 AD)

Height 29 cm, 11⅜ in.

Condition Report

There is overall wear to the rich gilding on the base and mandorla, and particularly to the figure's head, arms and legs. There is a series of horizontal ridges across the tip of the flame, both to the front and back and associated losses to the gilding. There are losses to the metal to one corner of one of the front legs of the base and losses and dents to the metal on one back corner and to both back legs of the base.


This figure was also exhibited in Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels, Gilt Bronzes and Early Ceramics, Christian Deydier Oriental Bronzes Ltd, London, 1986, cat. no 12.


中文內容僅供參考,請以英文原版為準。背光及底座鎏金見磨損,佛首及四肢處尤為明顯。火焰狀背光尖頂處見些許橫向劃痕。正面及背面均可見,并見相關鎏金缺損。底座前部一足見一處磕缺區域,背部一角及底座後足處均見些許缺損及凹痕。


此像曾展於《Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels, Gilt Bronzes and Early Ceramics》, 戴克誠,倫敦,1986年,編號12。


"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."


我們很高興為您提供上述拍品狀況報告。由於敝公司非專業修復人員,在此敦促您向其他專業修復人員索取諮詢,以獲得更詳盡、專業之報告。


準買家應該檢查每款拍品以確認其狀況,蘇富比所作的任何陳述均為專業主觀看法而非事實陳述。準買家應參考有關該拍賣的重要通知(見圖錄)。


雖然本狀況報告或有針對某拍品之討論,但所有拍賣品均根據印於圖錄內之業務規則以拍賣時狀況出售。

Cataloguing

Provenance

Vicomte de Bragelogne, Paris.

Eskenazi Ltd., London. 

Vicomte de Bragelogne,巴黎

埃斯卡納齊,倫敦

Exhibited

Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Gilt Bronzes from the Wessen and Other Collections, Eskenazi Ltd., London, 1980, cat. no. 23.

《Ancient Chinese Bronzes and Gilt Bronzes from the Wessen and Other Collections》, 埃斯卡納齊,倫敦,1980年,編號23

Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels, Gilt Bronzes and Early Ceramics, Christian Deydier Oriental Bronzes Ltd, London, 1986, cat. no 12.

《Ancient Chinese Bronze Vessels, Gilt Bronzes and Early Ceramics》, 戴克誠,倫敦,1986年,編號12

Literature

Saburo Matsubara, Chugoku Bukkyo Choukuku Shi Ron/History of Chinese Buddhist Sculpture, Tokyo, 1995, vol. I, pl. 108a.

松原三郎,《中国佛教彫刻史論》,東京,1995年,卷1,圖版108a


Catalogue Note

Standing majestically against a large and finely incised mandorla, this figure of the bodhisattva Padmapani ranks among the largest gilt-bronze sculptures from the Northern Wei dynasty remaining in private hands. Its serene expression and captivating smile, voluminous body and powerful pose, are testament to the gradual development of an indigenous Buddhist style in northern China.


Under the patronage of the ruling Northern Wei dynasty, founded by the Tuoba clan of the Xianbei ethnic group, Buddhism flourishing in China. The imperial family of this foreign dynasty actively supported the religion and regarded it as a means to legitimise their rule in a society dominated by Han Chinese values. Buddhist images proliferated in this period, and different phases of development can be discerned. The influence of Gandharan and Central Asian sculptures, at first taken as models to follow, gradually developed into a style that also took into consideration Chinese aesthetic language. During the reign of Emperor Xiaowen (r. 471-499), this process of sinicisation accelerated as the capital was moved from Datong to Luoyang, the former capital of the Eastern Han dynasty. Furthermore, the Emperor actively sponsored the assimilation of Han Chinese costumes on members of the Tuoba clan, a trend that continued under his successor, Emperor Xuanwu (r. 500-515) when this figure was created. Dated in accordance to 511, this sculpture carries stylistic elements that represent this artistic shift. The figure’s voluminous body and its aristocratic pose display the continued influence of Gandharan and Central Asian imagery, while the large flaming mandorla and the bodhisattva’s blissful smile, which wold have made this figure more appealing and accessible to a Chinese devotee, are characteristics of early 5th century sculptures. The tall, thin body evidence an increased interest in verticality, while the crisp rendering of the figure’s skirt that falls in regular pleats and the incised flames on the mandorla are endowed with a rhythmic, almost calligraphic quality.


This figure depicts Padmapani, also known as the “lotus bearer”, a manifestation of Avalokitesvara, or Guanyin, the much-revered bodhisattva of Compassion and Mercy. The cult of Padmapani and this distinctive iconography emerged in the late 4th and early 5th century, and continued to be popular until the Tang dynasty (618-907). In this manifestation, Avalokitesvara, who is credited the creation of all things animate and is believed to impersonate the power of creation, is depicted majestically standing against a flaming mandora to display his strength. The bodhisattva is dressed like a prince, wearing a necklace and a tall crown, and holding a lotus flower, a sign of his purity and spiritual elevation.


This piece appears to be among the largest examples of the bodhisattva Padmapani from the late 4th and early 5th century, and only one larger gilt-bronze figure appears to be known: measuring 35.8 cm in height, and dated by inscription to 498, in the Nitta collection, illustrated in Ji Chong Jian, The Buddhist Bronzes, Taipei, 1994, pl. 73. A slightly smaller figure, with a cyclical date corresponding to 504, illustrated ibid., pl. 80, was sold at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28th/29th October 2001, lot 503; and another with a scarf draped around a shoulder, dated in accordance to 514, in the Shanghai Museum, is published ibid., pl. 82.


A much smaller figure dated to 501, is illustrated in Matsubara Saburō, Chūgoku Bukkyō chōkoku shiron [Historical survey of Chinese Buddhist sculpture], Tokyo, 1995, vol. I, pl. 107, together with a figure lacking the mandorla, in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, pl. 108b; another also dated to 501, in the Shanghai Museum, is published in Ji Chong Jie, op. cit., pl. 77, together with one dated in accordance to 500, pl. 78; one dated to 499, in the Palace Museum, Beijing, is illustrated in Classics of the Forbidden City. Sculptures in the Collection of the Palace Museum, Beijing, 2014, pl. 127; and a further sculpture of Padmapani, with a cyclical date corresponding to 512, was sold at Christie's London, 16th June 1986, lot 26. See also a later example, dated to 544, from the collection of A.F. Philips, sold in these rooms, 30th March 1978, lot 34.


本像佛相莊嚴,背光尺寸龐大,刻工精細,現時屬於私人收藏之北魏鎏金銅蓮華手觀音大型造像為數甚少,此乃其一。觀音面帶微笑,慈悲安謐, 體態豐盈,不怒而威,見證中國北方佛教造像發展中土風格之漸進過程。

中土以漢族為主,北魏鮮卑拓跋氏建立北魏後,致力奠定其政權正統性,佛教因而獲得朝廷支持,是以於中國發展迅速。佛像造像於此時期發展蓬勃,從中可觀察各個階段。發展初期,藝匠以犍陀羅及中亞造像為模楷,後來風格演變,注入中國美學語言。北魏孝文帝自大同遷都至東漢舊都洛陽,漢化過程加速,並納漢服傳統於拓跋族衣著,此風尚並延續於繼任之宣武帝年間,即本像製作之時。本像斷代公元511年,藝術風格展現此中演變過程。造像身軀豐滿,姿態高貴,展現犍陀羅及中亞造像風格影響,大型火焰背光,以及菩薩面露笑容,則更易為中國信眾所接受,兩者均屬五世紀早期特色。而佛像身形高挑,反映高度之重要性增加,而裙褶叠曲有序,背光火焰刻劃清晰,氣韻生動,神彩宛如書法揮毫。


蓮華手觀音像形象獨特,發展於四世紀後期至五世紀初期,持續流行至唐代,此像衣著如皇子,戴項鍊寶冠,手持蓮花,象徵潔淨,精神崇高,火焰背光,站姿威嚴,展示無邊佛法。

本像屬於四世紀後期至五世紀初蓮華手觀音像尺寸最龐大作例之一,尺寸更大之鎏金銅作例僅有一品,35.8公分高,按年款斷代498年,現藏於Nitta收藏,圖載於季崇建,《金銅佛像》,台北,1994年,圖版73。另一例尺寸較小,斷代504年,前述出處,圖版80,售於香港佳士得2001年10月28/29日,編號503;上海博物館收藏一例,肩披圍巾,斷代514年,前述出處,圖版82。


另比一例,尺寸遠較本品為小,斷代501,圖載於松原三郎,《中国仏教彫刻史論》,東京,1995年,卷1,圖版107,同書並載另一例,無背光,現存於三藩市亞洲藝術博物館,圖版108b;另一例斷代501年,現藏於上海博物館,圖載於季崇建,出處同上,圖版77,同書並載一例,斷代500年,圖版78;北京故宮博物院亦藏一例,斷代499年,圖載於《Classics of the Forbidden City. Sculptures in the Collection of the Palace Museum》,北京,2014年,圖版127;再比一蓮華手觀音像例,斷代512年,售於倫敦佳士得1986年6月16日,編號26。尚有一例,斷代544年,出自A.F. Philips收藏,售於倫敦蘇富比1978年3月30日,編號34。

Important Chinese Art
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