Unique Afghan figurine to auction in Geneva priced $37,232

A number of historic and unique artefacts are going under the hammer at Europ Auctions' June 23 sale in Geneva, Switzerland.

Among the treasures being offered to collectors is this singular piece of Greco-Buddhist art from the Gandhara region, a standing Bodhisattva dated to the 3rd-4th century.

Art from the Gandhara region first appeared during the first and second centuries of our era on the fringes of the Kushan Empire, today known as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Like this example, the vast majority of these works were sculpted in high relief using schist, stucco or terracotta intended to decorate the chapels and monuments in Buddha's glory.

A 3rd-4th century standing Bodhisattva from the Kushan Empire, today
known as Afghanistan and Pakistan

These sculptures were created as a method of communicating the Buddhist message across the regions.

Adorned in princely jewels comprising heavy necklaces, pearl-encrusted earrings and bracelets, the Bodhisattva stands proudly with one foot forward, a posture which originated in Indian sculpture.

Encircling the Bodhisattva's head is a halo revealing the traditional Buddhist attributes: partly closed eyes, a discreet smile and elongated ear lobes.

Another noteworthy feature is its clothing, a pleated robe inspired by Greco-Roman sculpture. The figure, 47cm in height, stands on a base decorated with geometric patterns.

Consigned by a private French collector, the figurine bears some chips, visible accidents and restoration to its nose, and will auction with a pre-sale estimate of $31,027-37,232.


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