Buddhist Art Leads Gianguan Auctions' December 7th Sale

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Two 13th / 14th century Tibetan gilt bronze friezes lead a strong collection of Buddhist art and items of devotion at Gianguan Auctions New York sale on December 7th. Sculptures and paintings round out the reflections of faith.

"Very few Tibetan friezes survived the ages. That these 13th or 14th century examples did is nothing short of amazing." Mary Ann Lum, Gallery Director

Gianguan Auctions New York announces the inclusion of a strong collection of Buddhist art in their December 7th auction of Chinese paintings, ceramics and works of art. The auction begins at 10 a.m. at Gianguan Auctions' gallery at 295 Madison Avenue. This sale follows closely on the heals of Gianguan Auctions' inaugural Singapore sale last month where more than twenty items of Buddhist art made an impressive showing.

Among the highlights of the Buddhist art collection are two gleaming Tibetan gilt bronze friezes created in the 13th -14th century to honor the god Avalokiteshvara. Both are new to the market. That they survived the destruction of tumultuous time is nothing short of amazing.

Lot 260, featured on the catalog cover, depicts Avalokiteshvara in dhyanasana seated on a tiered base of mountains and waves. Lot 261 portrays Avalokiteshvara seated in dharmachakra mudra bearing a vase. Both are intricately and heavily cast. The figures and symbolic foliage in their environments are superbly molded. Coral and turquoise embellishments on each enrich their appeal. Both retain the original rings that were likely used to affix the friezes to stupas. Each frieze measures about 22 inches high by 17 inches wide. Each has a pre-sale estimate of $30,000-$50,000.  (http://gianguanauctions.com)

These are supported by a collection of carvings of Buddhist deities led by a Northern Wei (386 - 585 AD) jade sculpture of Sakyamuni Maitreya in abaya mudra, right hand in varda mudra, with robes falling loosely. At 17 inches tall, Lot 185 is valued at $30,000 - $50,000. 

Other personal reflections of thought and faith include Lot 147, a rare Shoushan stone seal carved as an elephant standing foursquare with two Buddhist arhats perched atop holding a covered box. It is an excellent value at $4,000 - $8,000. Grouped at Lots 161 - 165, Shoushan stone statuettes represent Jambhala, a Lohan taming a lion, the Guanyin, and a Taoist sage. They carry estimates of $4,000 - $6,000 each. 

Yet another expression of Buddhism is Lot 17, an ink-and-color on paper scroll painting by Gu Jianlong. Entitled “Venerable Buddha,” it depicts the Buddha and a traveler, each with a halo, caught in a swirl of color. As the journeyer restrains a tiger, a cherubic figure looks on. The Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) painting bears two artist seals and is valued at $15,000 - $20,000.

A white jadeite stone of exceptionally even tone is the right medium for visualizing the Guanyin reading a sutra tablet accompanied by an accolade. Guanyin is clad in long flowing robes with a topknot and halo. The higihly articulalted flame halo and open sutra tablet make this a distinctive object. It weighs 450 grams.Positioned at Lot 193, it is expected to fetch $6,000 - $8,000.

Completing  the collection of devotional items is an unusual aloeswood sculpture of the Liuhai parade of toad bringing forth coin. Pungent and treasured, aloeswood is rarely found in pieces large enough to carve. Lot 160, 2 1/2 inches tall, is valued at $3,000 - $4,000.   

For details on these highlights and all the properties in the Ginguan Auctions December 7th auction, please visit the online catalog at http://gianguanauctions.com.  Buyers may bid in person, through the Gianguan Auctions website, or a LiveAuctioneers.com or invaluable.com.

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Mary Ann Lum
@prtothetrade
since: 04/2009
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