Large Chinese gilt bronze expected to make $516,000

A large Chinese gilt bronze figure of Padmapani crafted in AD 470 is valued at $386,790-515,720.

It's one of a series of important bronzes from the collection of legendary Japanese dealer Sakamoto Goro to cross the block at Christie's Hong Kong on October 5.

Padmapani Chinese bronze
The bronze dates to the Northern Wei period

The lot was produced during the Northern Wei period (AD 386-534), a time when artists across China began to draw their influences from central Asia and India - particularly Gandhara.

The cult surrounding Padmapani, the bodhisattva known as the Lotus Bearer, was at its height during this time.

Sotheby's comments: "With its sensitive modelling inspired by the art of Gandhara, and crisp articulation of the aristocratic features of the bodhisattva in a powerful standing posture, the Sakamoto Padmapani is arguably the greatest example of its type remaining in private hands.

"It has a longstanding history in Japan, where it was discussed and illustrated by the eminent scholars Mizuno Seiichi and Saburo Matsubara in the 1960s, who recognised the importance of its dated inscription."

Other highlights include a bronze figure of Avalokitesvara from the Northern Qi dynasty (AD 550-577).

The era is famous for the quality of its stone carving and marks the time when Buddhist art in China began to take on a distinctive form of its own.

This is the finest bronze from this period ever to have been offered at auction, justifying its estimate of $257,860-386,790.

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