Seated Figure of a Bodhisattva
Tang Dynasty (唐朝)
Limestone with Polychrome Remnants
Height: 22 inches
This seated limestone figure shows traces of polychrome coloring in vibrant pinks and blues. The figure, seated on a double lotus plinth in the lalitasana pose, has pendulous earlobes and a serene expression. The hair is bound into a topknot in the shape of a snail’s shell with one tress hanging over the left shoulder. The diaphanous dhoti drapes over the arms and gently extends to the base in U-shaped folds. The left arm is missing from the elbow, while the right hand rests gently on the knee. In our opinion, the subject matter, workmanship and material suggest a Tang date for this work of art.
Reference Number: 3634
Formerly in the Gump Family Collection, San Francisco.*
Note: *The Gump Family opened a mercantile business in San Francisco in 1861 offering high end merchandise to wealthy local buyers. Later the firm began offering exquisite Chinese Jade works of art, Chinese hardwood furniture and sculpture to a world wide clientele. The Gump jade Room located on the third floor of their premises on Post Street became a destination for Jade collectors including Doris Duke, the British Royal Family and Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress among others. The present sculpture was by tradition acquired in the 1950’s by a Gump Family member who owned it until the present day.
A similar example is published in H. Vanderstappen and M. Rhie, ‘The Sculpture of T’ien Lung Shan: Reconstruction and Dating’, Artibus Asiae, 1965, vol. XXVII, 3, Switzerland, 1965, fig. 76.
See: Yamanaka and Company and Osaka Arts Society, Grand Exhibition of Ancient Chinese and Corean Works of Art, Tokyo, 1934, numbers 382 and 387, for two sandstone bodhisattvas from Tianlongshan.
A similar example excavated from Cangfosi in Northern Hebei province in 1930 is currently in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection, Number: 1930.85.
For a comparable example see Chinese Buddhist Sculpture from the Wei Through the Tang Dynasties. C.K. Chan Collection. Number 57.
Another comparable example was sold at Christie’s New York Sale, March 26, 2003. Sale #1211, Lot#148.
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