15th century Tibetan statue makes $209,000

A 15th century Tibetan copper statue of Gayadhara has sold for $209,000 at Bonhams New York.

The piece led a sale of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art on September 14.

Copper Gayadhara Bonhams
Gayadhara was a key figure in the development of Buddhism in Tibet

Gayadhara was a key figure in the development of Buddhism in Tibet. He is reported to have travelled there three times from his home in Bengal during the 11th century.

The auction house explains: "Identified here by the beautifully incised Tibetan inscription, this is a rare and commanding portrait of the Indian master who brought the Lamdre teachings to Tibet.

"The sculptor has given the portrait a powerful presence. Silver-inlaid eyes and facial hair, and a distinctive hooked nose evident in profile, enliven his visage…

"With only a handful known, sculptures of Gayadhara are extremely rare."

A gilt copper Shakyamuni Buddha, also made in Tibet in the 15th century, sold for $185,000.

The elaborate prabhamandala (the ornamental surrounding the figure) bears close resemblance to another example housed in the British Museum.

In 2013 a bronze Shakyamuni Buddha made $30m in a sale at Sotheby's Hong Kong, setting a new auction record for a piece of Chinese sculpture.

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Sale price£3,995
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