About the gallery
Marcel Nies opened a gallery in Antwerp specialising in art from Southeast Asia, India and the Himalaya regions in 1994. As he has been trading since 1975, he built an internationally recognised expertise in Asian Art and supports numerous vetting committees worldwide.

Apart from the annual exhibitions held at the gallery, Marcel Nies Oriental Art has taken part in Tefaf Maastricht for over 30 years, showcasing the finest pieces in the collection. We have supplied works of art to important private collections and museums, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the museum for Ostaziatische Kunst Koln, the Victoria and Albert Museum London, the Rietberg Museum Zurich, the Metropolitan Museum New York, the Asian Art Museum San Francisco, the Barbier-Mueller Museum Dallas, and the Asian Civilization Museum Singapore.

Whilst the gallery concentrates on sculpture, we also exhibit paintings and other ritual objects from as early as the 5th century BC. Our team focusses on thorough research and publishes scholarly catalogues annually. Marcel Nies Oriental Art deals in rare objects of the finest quality with excellent condition and extensive provenance, all provided with authenticity guarantees.

If you would like to visit the gallery, please feel free to make an appointment.

About the gallery
Marcel Nies opened a gallery in Antwerp specialising in art from Southeast Asia, India and the Himalaya regions in 1994. As he has been trading since 1975, he built an internationally recognised expertise in Asian Art and supports numerous vetting committees worldwide.

Apart from the annual exhibitions held at the gallery, Marcel Nies Oriental Art has taken part in Tefaf Maastricht for over 30 years, showcasing the finest pieces in the collection. We have supplied works of art to important private collections and museums, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the museum for Ostaziatische Kunst Koln, the Victoria and Albert Museum London, the Rietberg Museum Zurich, the Metropolitan Museum New York, the Asian Art Museum San Francisco, the Barbier-Mueller Museum Dallas, and the Asian Civilization Museum Singapore.

Whilst the gallery concentrates on sculpture, we also exhibit paintings and other ritual objects from as early as the 5th century BC. Our team focusses on thorough research and publishes scholarly catalogues annually. Marcel Nies Oriental Art deals in rare objects of the finest quality with excellent condition and extensive provenance, all provided with authenticity guarantees.

If you would like to visit the gallery, please feel free to make an appointment.

Notable Sales

A selection of important works of art sold to museums and significant private collections.

Notable Sales

A selection of important works of art sold to museums and significant private collections.

Buddha Sakyamuni

Thailand, Sukhothai, first half of the 15th century
Bronze; height: 73.5cm.

This fine casting of the historical Buddha Sakyamuni reveals the high technical skill and artistic refinement of Sukhothai masters, showcasing well-balanced proportions, pure lines and a radiating energy. The Sukhothai kingdom, covering most of present day Thailand, was established in the 13th century and ruled until the beginning of the 15th. Few works of art remain of this glorious period and only six dated images of the Sukhothai style are known to this day. Classic Sukhothai characteristics – all seen in the present sculpture – are large curls, pronounced ears, the lines of the eyebrows flowing into the fine bridge of the Buddha’s nose, a shawl draped over the left shoulder, elegant hands with fingers of different lengths, and a smooth polished surface.

Sold to the Metropolitan Museum, New York

Parvati

India, Tamil Nadu, Chola, 10th century
Bronze; height: 47cm.

 

The Chola Empire (ca.850-1250) was a time of economic and political growth, artistic refinement, major architectural projects and innovation. In this climate this graceful Parvati was cast in bronze and used for devotion. Parvati is the consort of Shiva and regarded as the principal female deity in Hinduism. This sculpture shows the deity with artistic finesse and is a superb example of early Chola art. The finely modelled embellishments, well-balanced proportions and lively pose add to powerful impression of this exceptional sculpture. In addition, the bronze has been selected as the cover for the publication of ‘Cast for Eternity’.

 

Sold to a private collection, Belgium

Samurai

Japan, Muromachi period ca.1400
Wood, lacquer, gilding, precious stones; height: 155cm.

 

This impressive figure of a Samurai resembles portraits of the famous Kusunoki Masashige (1294-1336) who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in the Genko war (1331-1333). He is dressed in full armour and is holding a sword – the deadliest of weapons and thus the Samurai’s most treasured possession. A golden badge in the shape of a circular sun or moon is affixed to the elaborate helmet, signifying his high rank and importance. His softly sculpted face, proud posture, and majestic garments all contribute to the monumentality of this sculpture.

 

Sold to the The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas.

Avalokitèshvara

Sumatra, Srivijaya kingdom, Sailendra dynasty, 8th century
Bronze, traces of gilding; height: 38cm.

 

The Srivijaya kingdom was situated in present-day Indonesia and Thailand, rising in the 7th century and lasting until the 13th. The Sailendra dynasty emerged in the 8th century and was known for its great architectural projects and artistic innovation.  Avalokitèshvara, the Boddhisattva of compassion, is standing upright with twelve arms fanning out creating a powerful rhythmic composition. This impressive statue is one of the few bronzes to survive from the Srivijaya Kingdom and is therefore an important sculpture of early Mahayana Buddhism.

 

Sold to a private collection, USA

Emaciated Buddha Sakyamuni

Thailand, King Rama V (1868-1910)
Bronze; height: 89cm.

 

The present Buddha Gautama Sakyamuni is shown at a particular moment on his path to enlightment; when he was consuming a single rice grain a day in order to purify his body and distance his mind from earthly matters. This sculpture has a notable provenance, as it was commissioned by King Chulalongkorn, also known as King Rama V, and has been in a number of important private collections since. Depictions of the emaciated Buddha were particularly popular from the 2nd until the 4th century and few later examples remain. This impressive bronze is in excellent condition and is characterised by crisp details, including the tight curls on his head, the fine pleats of his garment, and the pronounced veins on his torso and arms.

 

Sold to a private collection; now on display in the V&A Museum, London

 

Manikkavacakar

India, Tamil Nadu, Chola, 12th – 13th century
Bronze; height: 56cm.

 

Manikkavacakar was a saint living in the 9th century in India and is known for his famous poem book Tiruvasakam and other religious texts. The saint is depicted in an elegant standing position and is holding a folio of a manuscript in his left hand, referring to his divine wisdom. The beautiful natural patina was created by ritual cleansings in devotional practise. The Chola period was known for its continuous artistic refinement and innovation. The present graceful figure shows meticulous casting of every detail and can be considered a highlight of Chola art.

 

Sold to a private collection, Australia

Shrine of Buddha Sakyamuni

Thailand, Lopburi, 13th century
Bronze; height: 45cm.

 

The figure depicted in the centre of the fine Buddhist shrine is the historical Buddha Gautama Sakyamuni, also known as the Buddha of compassion. This sculpture is strongly influenced by Cambodian sculpture of the 12th and 13th century and is, in comparison, one of the most expressive examples produced in Lopburi. The exquisite quality of the casting in combination with its crisp details and impressive size make of the present sculpture a rare masterpiece of Khmer art.

 

Sold to the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco.

Vajrasattva

Tibet, 14th century
Bronze; height: 51.5cm.

Vajrasattva was venerated as the primordial Buddha in the cult of Ka-Dam-Pa originated by the Indian guru Artisa in the 11th century. The sculpture is entirely adorned with fine decorations, including sophisticated necklaces, bracelets and anklets. The detailed three-leafed crown, the large circular earrings, and the engraved geometric designs on Vajrasattva’s garment including flower motives are early stylistic designs and support the 14th century dating. This bronze evokes an archaic idealism fitting with earlier Tibetan sculpture. This cosmic Buddha is amongst the most impressive and largest sculptures of Vajrasattva known in Western collections.

 

Sold to a private collection, Switzerland

 

Yali Banisters

Sri Lanka, ca. 1500
Dolomite, traces of polychromy
Height: 72.5cm., length: 145cm.

 

A Yali is a mythical Lion depicted with horns and is a personification of rampant natural forces. Such lions were often incorporated in architectural design including the present banisters, which were presumably positioned at the entrance of a temple or palace. Each Yali, one male and one female, has an open mouth from which the rim of the banister sprouts ending in a spiral. The two Yalis are beautifully decorated with jewellery and geometric designs, accentuating their dynamicity and powerful energy. These monumental sculptures are the only known examples to reside in a Western public collection. 

Sold to the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Head of Buddha Sakyamuni

Pakistan, Gandhara, 2nd century
Grey shist; height: 28cm.

This life-sized portrait of the Buddha Sakyamuni, the Buddha of compassion, is a classic example of Gandhara art. In the 2nd century the Northern parts of Pakistan and southern parts of Afghanistan were known as the Gandhara region. Lying onto the silk route, it became an important and influential Buddhist centre, producing art strongly influenced by Greco-Roman, Iranian and central Asian traditions. The fine waving locks tied up in a chignon on top of his head, the large unisha on his forehead (which presumably used to bear a gem of some sort), and the striking realism of the facial features are all classic traits of Gandhara sculpture. One rarely comes across a Gandhara work in such exquisite condition, showcasing the high level of lifelike quality, deep spirituality, and pureness of a Buddhist sculpture.

Sold to a private collection, Germany

Avalokitèshvara

China, Yunnan, Dali Kingdom (937-1253), 10th century
Bonze, traces of gilding; height: 34.8cm.

 

Most surviving images of Avalokitèsvara from Yunnan are depicted standing, which makes this praying figure seated in virasana a rare find. The 34 remaining slender arms (there were 38 originally) radiate around the Buddha’s head, adding to its high-powered and almost primordial energy. This extraordinary Bodhisattva is executed with great artistic freedom and is a true masterpiece of tantric Buddhist art.

 

Sold to the George Ortiz collection; currently in the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore

Buddha Vajrasana

India, Bihar, Pala, 11th-12th century
Bronze, height: 24cm.

 

The vajra (mythical weapon) depicted on the lotus throne identifies the figure as Buddha Vajrasana. Whist this Buddha was originally found in Tibet, it showcases influx of Eastern Indian artistic traditions. In addition, the sophisticated technical execution of the casting is consistent with bronzes from Pala, India. Indian pilgrims occasionally took bronzes to Tibet which inspired early Tibetan Buddhist art. The present Buddha is likely to be one of such examples. The sculpture is comparable to only a few examples in public collections, one in the British Museum and another in the North Simon Museum.

 

Sold to a private collection, Italy

Uma Maheshvara

Nepal, Thakuri – early Malla period, circa 1200
Bronze, traces of gilding, inlaid with precious stones; height: 16.5cm.

The present divine couple represents Shiva embracing Parvati. The elegant and royal looking pair is modelled with great artistic virtuosity, sitting on a pearled lotus throne. The two figures are depicted as one entity – turned towards each other, Parvati laying her hand on Shiva’s thigh, and Shiva holding her waist. This well-balanced composition underlines the couple’s physical and emotional connectedness that is highly valued in Hindu religion. The exquisite condition reveals the fine details, the beautifully modelled sensuous forms, original inlaid precious stones and gilding. This masterful casting was selected as a highlight at Tefaf Maastricht 2020 and is published in their catalogue.

Sold to a private collection, Australia

Publications

A list of our publications, going back to 1977. Please note a selection of each catalogue is displayed online.

Publications
A list of our publications, going back to 1977. Please note a selection of each catalogue is displayed online.