NEW YORK – Buddhist art in its splendid forms is the theme of Gianguan Auctions’ upcoming sale on Saturday, Sept. 9. Absentee and Internet bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
From Tibet to the mighty Yellow and Yangtze tiver basins, the arts of China are informed by references to Buddhism. Gilt-bronze and stone statues, stone seals, scroll paintings and carved jades reflect regional and highly personal interpretations of the Buddha, Guanyin, the Boddhisatva, Maitreya, Louhans, acolytes and deities, creating an aesthetic that is both sacred and decorative.
The sale also features an exceptionally strong field of secular art, highlighted by a collection of Chinese porcelains and antique jade and ceramic pillows. Lot 146, a Wucai (five-color) guan with cover and beast handles (below), bearing the Yuan Dynasty’s Bo Ling Di Studio mark expected to go off at more than $850,000.
Pillow-talk starts at Lot 254, a Warring States jade rarity with a ruyi shaped headrest above evil-thwarting hogs at rest. Another jadeite pillow, Lot 156, is an adorable Ming-carved boy lying on his stomach. The Song gave us Lot 273, a heart-shaped Cizhou area porcelain pillow of ivory, black and brown slip. The pillows range in value from $3,000-$8,000.
Traditional Buddhist sculptures begin with early stone images of Guanyin. The elegant gray-stone Guanyin seated in dhyanasana, is clad in a plain monastic shawl that exposes a bare chest. Of the Western Wei (A.D. 386-535), it weighs nearly 100 pounds and is 2 feet tall.
Gilt bronze deities include a pigmented figure of Tara seated in seated in lalitasana. Blue eyes punctuate the serene face while polychrome accents the forehead framing crown. It is Lot 271, expected to bring upwards of $15,000. Meanwhile, a fearsome Qing Dynasty Vajrabhairava Yamantaka (below) with two moveable arms grasping his consort and thirty-two fixed arms wielding weapons, is a tour-de-force of casting. Each part was individually cast and assembled, forming a dramatic representation of this protector of Tibetan Buddhism. It is Lot 272, 10-inches tall, estimated at $40,000-$60.000.
Among the meditative paintings is Dai Jin’s Four Panels of Buddha. A Ming work, it is executed in Zhe School (Southern Song) style with frontispiece by Wang Zuxi and colophon by Yu Yue. Lot 100, it is valued at more than $30,000.
Wang Hui, whose Qing era works were seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2008 exhibition “Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717),” delivers a bold, academic depiction of a Mountain Temple nestled in the rolling peaks of brown, green, subtle red. Lot 192 will fetch upwards of $100,000.
Seal collectors will be pleased to see an array of more than 20 stone seals – originally the official indicator of emperors and scholars’ identity. Lot 47, for instance, is a columnar furong stone seal surmounted with a seated Guanyin resting her arm on a cleverly carved table. Bidding on the 5-inch-tall statue starts at $600. Lot 74 is an unusual octagonal seal of shoushan stone with poetry and landscapes inscribed on its panels. Its reticulated knob features nine dragons chasing pearl. Six-inches tall and weighing 3 1/2 pounds, this rarity starts at $1,500.
For condition reports, call Gianguan Auctions, 212-867-7288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.