A magnificent and extremely rare gilt-bronze figure of Padmapani Tang dynasty | 唐 鎏金銅蓮華手觀音坐像
A magnificent and extremely rare gilt-bronze figure of Padmapani
the finely cast figure depicting Padmapani, seated in lalitasana with plump face and full-rounded cheeks, adorned in sumptuous beaded jewellery, the hair tied in a high top knot, a lotus blossom snakes up the left arm, while the right hand protrudes the trailing shawl in a mid-motion manner
figure h. 16.6 cm (overall h. 27.6 cm)
The figure is in good overall condition with just minor surface wear, rubbing to the gilding and typical oxidisation. The original stones have been lost. The right foot and lower section of the drapery (approx. 2.5 cm) have been broken off and restored. The stand and aureole, possibly matched in antiquity, are in good condition with minor dents and rubbing to the gilding.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Yamanaka & Co., Inc.
Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, 26th May 1944, lot 505.
Collection of Mrs Alice Spalding Bowen (1890-1981).
Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, 1953-1967.
Collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, New York, 1967-1972.
Collection of Christian Humann (d.1981), New York, by 1972, named the Pan-Asian Collection by 1977.
Collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, New York, acquired in 1982.
Christie's New York, 17th May 2015, lot 15.
Alice Spalding Bowen 夫人（1890-1981年）收藏
Christian Humann（1981年卒）收藏，紐約，1972年之前，1977年之前改名為 Pan-Asian 收藏
Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Buddhist Statues in Overseas Collection, vol. 5, Beijing, 2005, pl. 910.
Nihon Kotoji Shina Bijutsu Tenrankai [Exhibition of Japanese Ceramics and Ancient Chinese Art], Yamanaka & Co Ltd., Osaka Bijutsu Club, Osaka, 1934, cat. no. 59.
Collection of Chinese and Other Far Eastern Art, Yamanaka & Company, Inc., New York, 1943, cat. no. 111.
Denver Art Museum, Denver, 1972-1983 (on loan).
Reflection and Enlightenment: Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2017-2018.
《Collection of Chinese and Other Far Eastern Art》，山中商會，紐約，1943年，編號111
《Reflection and Enlightenment: Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection》，休士頓美術館，休士頓，2017-2018年
This large finely cast figure can be identified as Padmapani, a manifestation of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, by the lotus blossom at the left shoulder. The cult of Padmapani and this distinctive iconography emerged in the late 4th and early 5th century, and continued to be popular in the Tang dynasty. In this manifestation, Avalokitesvara, who is credited with 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, adorned with opulent jewellery that serves also to denote his worldliness, as has vowed to remain in the world until all sentient beings have achieved enlightenment.
Depicted seated in lalitasana adorned in sumptuous beaded jewelry with hair pulled into a high-top knot, the sculpture embodies the style of the high Tang period, with its sensitive treatment of the natural curves and flow of the body. This representational mode was influenced by Indian art, and the characteristics include a rounded face, well-modeled cheeks, a subtly sensuous silhouette, and opulent jewelry. Compare a seated bodhisattva in similar posture, illustrated in Saburo Matsubara, Chinese Buddhist Sculpture, Tokyo, 1966, pl. 269. See also a Tang standing figure of a bodhisattva in the collection of Harvard Art Museum, bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, 1943.53.77, illustrated in Leopold Swergold, Thoughts on Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes, 2014, pl. 27. The Harvard figure is of smaller size, with less naturalistic curves to the form, but with similar treatment of the robes and also with original stone settings now missing. For another Tang gilt-bronze figure of closely related style and of similar high quality, see the example from the collection of Frederick M. Mayer, included in the exhibition Chinese Art, Venice, 1954, cat. no. 265, and sold at Christie's London, 24th/25th June 1974, lot 131.