Gandharan grey schist Buddha makes $509,000 in New York auction

A grey schist figure of Buddha made in the kingdom of Gandhara in the 2nd or 3rd century BC was the top lot at Christie's on September 16.

The lot led a sale of Indian and Southeast Asian Art in New York, realising $509,000 against a valuation of $250,000 - an increase of 103.6%.

Buddha schist
Gandhara spread Buddhism throughout the Middle East from the 1st century AD

Gandhara occupied a region in what is now northern Pakistan and north-eastern Afghanistan for around 2,600 years between 1500 BC and AD 1100.

Buddhist ideas radiated from the region across the Middle East from the start of the 1st century AD.

The superbly realised figure is seated in the traditional dhyanasana position and, like other sculptures from the region, displays classical Grecian influences - a legacy from the earlier conquests of Alexander the Great.   

A Vajravarahi mandala depicting 37 deities beat its $120,000 valuation by 244.1% to sell for $413,000.

Produced in Tibet during the Qianlong period (1740-1763), the elaborate and complex painting was made for Yintao (1686-1763) - one of the many sons of the Kangxi emperor.

The auction formed part of New York's annual Asian Art Week sales. A sale at Sotheby's yesterday saw a Song dynasty Ding bowl achieve $1.2m.

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