Sculptures and Paintings For Christie’s Sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art

Christie’s Asian Art Week will commence on September 14th, with the sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art. The sale offers over 200 selected works including exceptional bronzes, sculpture, and paintings from Gandhara, the Himalayas, India and Indonesia.

The sale not only offers treasures at many different price levels, but also offers works that spans a wide time and geographical range from the bejeweled or remarkably simple, to monumental and miniature. An important Gandharan Silver Collection will highlight the sale along with property from various other private collections.

Gandharan Silver
The collection of important Gandharan silver was acquired in 1979 by Julian Sherrier, a wellknown collector of Gandharan art. This rare collection includes unique types of silver such as goblets, cups, bowls, medallions, sieves and a ladle dating from late 1st century B.C. to early 1st century A.D. Many have inscriptions giving the owner’s or donor’s names coming from Greek, Scythian, Iranian, and mostly Indian origin. Most notably this collection offers a view on the exciting exchange of concepts, ideas, and material goods at the crossroads of Asia at the beginning of the modern era.

The collection includes a Roman silver kantharos, Gandhara, circa late 1st century B.C. – early 1st century A.D. (estimate: $150,000-250,000). The cast and repoussé cup illustrates the Centauromachy, a mythological tale of Centaurs trying to abduct women from a wedding feast. The cover lot of the catalogue, a silver cup from
Gandhara, circa late 1st century B.C. – early 1st century A.D. (estimate: $50,000-70,000) is a striking silhouette with ribbed walls and is a type known from Taxila, a famous Gandharan archaeological site.

Himalayan Gilt Bronzes
Christie´s will also offer a significant group of extraordinarily crafted gilt bronzes. Highlights include a large and important gilt bronze figure of Amitayus, Tibet, 14th century (estimate: $600,000-800,000), which is superbly molded and richly gilt; another large and important gilt bronze figure of Vajrasattva the sixth transcendental Buddha, from Tibet or Nepal, 15th century (estimate: $500,000-
700,000); and a rare and important gilt bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara, a finely modeled and superbly detailed with a floral garland, inset garnets, and an elaborate coiffure with incised locks of hair, from Nepal, circa 9th/10th century
(estimate: $400,000-600,000).

Leading the rest of the sale are eight gilt bronzes from The Collection of a Gentleman, including a richly gilt bronze figure of Vajrasattva from the Zanabazar School of Mongolia, 18th century (illustrated on page 1, right, estimate: $200,000-300,000). This is a superb example of craftsmanship and elegance from the workshops of Zanabazar (1635-1723), a religious leader, artist and master craftsman in Mongolia. Further outstanding gilt bronze examples include a rare gilt bronze figure of Vajrapani from Northeastern India of the Pala Period, 11th century (estimate: $40,000-60,000); a gilt bronze figure of Vajradhara from Nepal, 15th/16th century (estimate: $40,000-60,000); and a gilt bronze figure of Tsongkhapa from Tibet, 15th century (estimate: $60,000-80,000).

Indian and Khmer Sculpture
In addition, a strong group of sculpture from several private collections will be offered, including a blackstone stele of Umamaheshvara, Northeast India, Pala Period, 11th century (estimate: $80,000-120,000); a large bronze figure of a Devi, South India, Vijayanagara Period, 14th century (estimate: $200,000-300,000); and a sandstone figure of Uma, Khmer, Angkor Period, Baphuon Style, 11th century (estimate: $100,000-150,000).

Indian and Tibetan Paintings
The sale also presents a superb selection of paintings, including an Illustration from the Bhagavata Purana: The Demon Samvara Throws Pradyumna into the Ocean, India, Basohli, circa 1769, (estimate: $15,000-20,000); a large and important silk appliqué Thangka of Offerings to Vajrabhairava, Mongolia, circa 1800 (estimate: $250,000-350,000); a Thangka of the Ninth Karmapa, Wangchug Dorje, Tibet, 18th century (estimate: $40,000-60,000); and a Thangka of the Thirteenth Karmapa, Dudul Dorje, Tibet, 17th century (estimate: $15,000-20,000).

Image: Thangka of the Ninth Karmapa, Wangchug Dorje, Tibet, 18th century (detail). Estimate: $40,000-60,000. Photo: Christie´s Images Ltd 2010.

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