Gandharan grey schist Bodhisattva valued at $800,000

A grey schist figure of a Bodhisattva carved in Gandhara in the 2nd or 3rd century AD is offered at Christie's.

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."

grey bodhisatva Gandhara
The figure stands at around two metres tall

It's valued at $600,000-800,000 ahead of the September 13 auction in New York.

Gandhara is the old name for the modern Pakistani region of Peshawar.

The carvers of the region were famed for their abilities. They drew influences from Greek, Persian, Indian and other sources.

While Pakistan is today a predominantly Muslim country, in earlier times it was a stronghold of Buddhism, which arrived there along the Silk Road from China.

A gilt bronze figure of Vasudhara is expected to make $150,000-200,000.

The statue originates in Nepal in the 13th century AD and shows the fertility and wealth goddess in seated pose.

It's typical of bronzes produced during the early Malla period (AD 1200-1482), which show a shift from the Indian influences of the past towards a more ornate and elaborate style.

The record for any Buddhist figure at auction is $30m, set for a phenomenal Chinese Shakyamuni Buddha at Sotheby's Hong Kong in 2013.

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