A rare inscribed 'Huanghuashi' limestone Buddhist stele, Northern Zhou dynasty, dated Jiande 2nd year, corresponding to 573 | 北周 建德二年 (573年) 黃花石雕佛幢台
What is guaranteed?
A rare inscribed 'Huanghuashi' limestone Buddhist stele
Northern Zhou dynasty, dated Jiande 2nd year, corresponding to 573
北周 建德二年 (573) 黃花石雕佛幢台
上輕車都尉慶州都督 佛弟子馬何醜 建德二年三月朔日并州刺史 柱國大將軍敬造天尊像一區
Height 5¾ in., 14.8 cm
Small losses and dents to the edges, and shallow chips to the corners. Surface wear, scratches and degradation throughout.
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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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Sotheby's London, 28th January 1958, lot 10.
Collection of Dr Wou Kiuan (1910-1997).
Wou Lien-Pai Museum, 1968-present, coll. no. H.5.1.
吳權博士 (1910-1997) 收藏
Rose Kerr et al., Chinese Antiquities from the Wou Kiuan Collection. Wou Lien-Pai Museum, Hong Kong, 2011, pl. 174.
柯玫瑰等，《Chinese Antiquities from the Wou Kiuan Collection. Wou Lien-Pai Museum》，香港，2011年，圖版174
Northern Zhou stone carved figures are distinguished by stocky, strong features, and square faces. Compare a four-sided huanghuashi stele attributed to the Northern Zhou illustrated in Saburo Matsubara, Chinese Buddhist Sculpture: A study based on bronze and stone statues other than works from cave temples. Tokyo, 1966, pls 185 a, b; as well a larger stele, dated by inscription to the fifth year of the Baoding reign, corresponding to 564, illustrated in ibid. pl. 187a. A larger four-sided stone stele dated by inscription to 571 is illustrated in Chinese Sculpture. Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts. Yamaguchi Collection, Osaka, 2013, pl. 050.
See also a Northern Zhou huanghuashi triad stele, also dated by inscription to the Jiande year in the Eisei-Bunko Museum, illustrating Arts Treasured by the Hosokawa Clan Selections from the Eisei-Bunko Museum Collection, Miho Museum, Tokyo, 2002, cat. no. 13; and a huanghuashi pedestal dated by inscription to 573, formerly in the collection of Bunkio Matsuki (1867-1940), now preserved in the Freer Sackler Galleries, Washington D.C. (accession no. F1909.94).
In the 3rd year of Jiande (corresponding to 574), Buddhism was prohibited in China and the destruction of Buddhist images was strictly enforced. The present lot is therefore an important example of the late Northern Zhou style of Buddhist imagery created before this period of destruction.