Gandharan grey schist bodhisattva makes $1.2m

A Gandharan grey schist bodhisattva has sold well at Christie's.

The enormous statue stands at around two metres tall and was the highlight of the Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art auction in New York on September 13.

grey boddishatva Gandhara
Gandhara was an important hub on the Silk Road

The second or third century AD piece realised $1.2m, surpassing its estimate of $800,000 by 80%.

Christie's comments: "With majestic poise, the present bodhisattva stands as a classic example of the highly-skilled carving for which Gandharan sculptors from this period are known."

Gandhara is the name of an ancient kingdom that ruled a region in modern day Peshawar, Pakistan.

Its carvers were famous across the region. Their work shows clear influences from other civilisations, including the Indians, Greeks and Romans.

This connection with the wider world was thanks to Gandhara's position as one of the key hubs on the Silk Road - the legendary trade route that connected east and west.

A gilt bronze figure of Guhyakali, made in Nepal in the 15th century, realised $725,000.

It's one of the earliest known representations of Guhyakali, who is the tantric form of Kali - the devourer of time.

It's believed that a tantric Hindu cult in Nepal worshipped this particular form of the goddess, as other sculptures from the same region are also known.

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