The heavy, 13-inch-tall Tibetan bronze seated Buddha on a carved, 5-inch-tall stand showed a serene-faced figure wearing a draped robe, posed in quiet contemplation on a lotus base.
GARNET VALLEY, Pa. – A rare and important gilt bronze Tibetan Buddha blasted through its $200-$300 pre-sale estimate to finish at a staggering $200,000 in an online Fine Estates Auction held March 24th by Briggs Auction, Inc. The piece, pulled from a Main Line, Pennsylvania estate, generated auction fever from almost the moment it was posted until the hammer came down. It was the most ever paid for a single item at Briggs Auction, Inc.
What made this Buddha so special? “It was right, and of exceptional quality,” said Stephen Turner, president and owner of Briggs Auction, Inc. “The figure was unusually large at 13 inches tall, and very heavy. The underside of the statue bore a Yongle mark, which added to its historical significance. And the piece’s nearly excellent condition certainly added to its value.”
The heavy, 13-inch-tall Tibetan bronze seated Buddha on a carved, 5-inch-tall stand showed a serene-faced figure wearing a draped robe, posed in quiet contemplation on a lotus base, making a graceful vitarka mudra with his right hand. Bidders from around the globe competed over two bidding platforms: Brigg’s Auction’s own Bid At Briggs, as well as www.Live Auctioneers.com.
All prices quoted in this report are hammer, exclusive of the buyer’s premium.
Other highlights from the sale included a large-format oil on canvas portrait of a partially-clad beauty, titled Lorelei ($32,000); a large set of Georg Jensen Pyramidian pattern sterling flatware with serving pieces ($6,000); a rare Thomas Crow (Wilmington, Del.) signed pocket watch with fusée movement and enameled dial ($5,500); a set of four Gio Ponti Model 116 walnut dining chairs for Singer & Sons ($2, 800); and a Hasui Kawese woodblock of colorful iris flowers, signed at the bottom ($2,600).
Briggs Auction saw other strong prices and enthusiastic reception from several of its other first quarter 2023 auctions, which included a range of market fresh merchandise from Main Line, Pa. and Delaware Valley estates and collections. Some top lots included a lovely, 1921 life-size portrait of a seated woman purportedly Mary Anderson Pew (Mrs. Joseph N. Pew, founder of the Sun Oil Co.) by Hungarian artist Philip de Laszlo ($12,500); a 19th century oil on canvas by Mary Smith depicting rabbits eating a watermelon ($8,000); a super cool 1967 Ford Mustang convertible with original red paint and black top and interior ($15,000); an incredible Italian snuff box in brass and beveled glass depicting various mythological scenes in a fitted velvet case ($7,000); an impressive Baker two-piece Georgian-style linen press with a pierced gilt crest ($3,200); an oil on board winter landscape depicting Deborah’s Rock in West Chester, Pa. by 20th century Pennsylvania artist John Suplee ($2,600); and a special Beatrix Potter/Peter Rabbit Collection auction in January that saw three Harrison Cady original Peter Rabbit watercolor and ink paintings realize $2600, $1700, and $1300, respectively.
“The year is off to a great start,” Mr. Turner said. “We have some wonderful collections coming up over the next few months and we’re confident the rest of the year will be just as big and appealing to our bidders.” On tap for May will be an interesting mix of estate farm equipment, a fine selection of estate wine and spirits, our Fine Estates auction (which already has an interesting mix of styles and periods), and the regular Discovery auctions, in which there are always treasures to be found. Planned for June is a fantastic Patio auction, filled with a great selection of outdoor furniture, statuary, planters and garden accessories, and more.
Briggs Auction, Inc. is a four-generation, family-owned and operated auction house located in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, offering online auctions, estate appraisal services and real estate auctions for estates, downsizers and more. Their bi-weekly Discovery auctions feature over 1,000 lots of antique and name-brand furnishings, decorative and fine art, fine and costume jewelry, silver, collectibles, coins, toys, tools, home goods, estate vehicles and more.
Monthly Fine Estates auctions feature wonderful 18th and 19th century and Mid-Century Modern furnishings, period and contemporary decorative arts, fine art and sculpture, fine porcelains, estate fine jewelry, silver and more. Periodic special collections auctions offer the opportunity to explore specific genres and collections.
To learn more about Briggs Auction, Inc. and the firm’s calendar of upcoming events, please visit www.BriggsAuction.com. They can be reached by phone at 610-566-3138 or via email at [email protected]. Quality consignments are always being sought for future auctions.