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.

Artworks

A selection of available artworks in the gallery.

Buddha Sakyamuni In A Niche

Afghanistan, Hadda, circa 4th century
Stucco; height 43.5cm.

This sculpture of Buddha Sakyamuni in a niche demonstrates clear stylistic influence from Hellenistic works of art and strongly resembles sculptures found at Hadda – a Greco-Buddhist archaeological site located in the ancient region of Gandhara, present day Afghanistan – including its symmetrical composition, light material, and the type of architectural structure framing Buddha. The patina is authentic and traces of original polychromy remain. This sculpture is in good condition, revealing the striking realism of Buddha’s face and softly sculpted pleats of his garment.

PROVENANCE:
Collection Mr. F. Yazdani, United Kingdom, 1997
Collection van Dongen, The Netherlands, 1997-2016

PUBLISHED:
Marcel Nies, Faith & Devotion, Gods, Saints and Guardians in Asian Art, Antwerp, 2016, pp. 8-9.

Durga

India, Orissa, 15th century
Copper alloy; height: 14.3cm.

 

Durga is an avatar of the Hindu goddess Parvati and is venerated as the warrior goddess who destroyed the demon Mahisha. The figure is well balanced, seated in vajrasana, and placed on a finely decorated lotus throne. The sculpture is in excellent condition and has a natural patina, particularly worn in the areas of her breasts and face. This work of art is incredibly detailed; the jewellery adorning her chest, modelled and incised anklets, armbands, stacked belts, delineated fingernails, and so on. This small yet powerful sculpture is stylistically consistent with 15th century sculptures from Orissa and demonstrates the artistic and technical skill of artists from this region.

PROVENANCE:
Collection Mr. Vittorio Cacciandra, Montecarlo, Italy

Head Of Buddha Sakyamuni

Pakistan, Gandhara, 2nd-3rd century
Schist; height 29,5 cm

 

The Gandhara region, covering present day Northern Pakistan and Southern Afghanistan, was an important and influential Buddhist centre producing art strongly influenced by Greco-Roman, Iranian and central Asian traditions. This stone head of Buddha Sakyamuni is one of such examples, showcasing Hellenistic stylistic elements, including the sensitive modeling of the face and nonchalant waving hair resembling flames. This sculpture is iconic for the Gandhara period, which produced the first images of the historic Buddha. Similar examples reside in important collections, including the British Museum.

 

PROVENANCE:
Private collection, United Kingdom, before 1970
Collection Mr. Bunzo Nakanishi, Kyoto, Japan, 1970s
Collection Mrs. Shirley Day, New York, USA
Collection Mr. Gilbert Verschooten, Belgium, 2006-2012
Collection Mr. and Mrs. Hans Verloop, Belgium, 2012-2018

Shiva Chandrashekara

India, Tamil Nadu, Vijayanagar, 16th century
Bronze; height: 45cm.

 

Typical for Vijayanagar sculpture is the detailed casting of each element and incised decorative designs. This sculpture, representing Shiva, is elaborately adorned with jewels, stacked belts, and a tall crown (jatamukuta) made of two sets of feathers and an image of Gagna, the goddess of purity. Shiva is seated in lalitasana, the posture of royal ease, and is positioned on a circular lotus throne mounted on a square base. He is holding an axe and a leaping dear, referring to his former manifestation as Rudra the hunter. This relatively large and graceful bronze is a mighty depiction of the Hindu god of destruction and leaves a powerful impression.

 

PROVENANCE:
Collection Mr. Rinaldi, Fossano, Italy

PUBLISHED:
Marcel Nies, Awakening: The Art of Total Perception, Antwerp, 2017, pp. 42-43.

Vishnu

India, Orissa, 15th-16th century
Copper alloy, eyes inlaid with silver; height: 32cm.

 

Orissa bronzes from the 15th and 16th centuries are usually extensively decorated with jewellery and sophisticated floral and geometric designs. The present sculpture demonstrates artistic finesse from all angles. Vishnu is placed on a typical circular lotus throne and displays definite Orissa characteristics, including large almond shaped eyes, a tender smile, and a pronounced nose. This sophisticated rendering of Vishnu depicts the deity in virasana, a position associated with Buddha, underlining the deity’s meditative and intellectual qualities.

 

Provenance:

Private collection, Belgium
Collection Mr. and Mrs. John Kurtz, Belgium, 2009-2012

 

Bodhisattva

India, Kashmir, 9th century
Bronze; height: 24cm.

 

This sculpture of a Bodhisattva is cast solidly in bronze. The large flamed nimbus surrounding the deity’s head enforces his importance. The column to his left hand side indicates that the figure was likely part of a larger sculptural shrine. Between the 6th and 12th centuries Kashmir was considered an important Hindu and Buddhist centre, producing works of art that had a strong influence on further developments of religious sculpture in India. The almond shaped eyes, jewellery, and type of bronze alloy are all typical for Kashmiri sculptures dating to the 8th – 9th century. The disproportioned yet well defined bodily volumes are comparable to earlier Indian sculptures from the 5th and 6th centuries.

 

Provenance:
Collection Mr. Michael Phillips, Los Angeles, USA

Published:
S. Little, Images of Buddha from the Michael Phillips Collection in Arts of Asia, Jan-Febr. 2013, p.111, fig. 12.C.
Christophe Hioco, Catalogue La Biennale des Antiquaires, Paris, 2017, pp.32-33.

A Pair of Yalis

India, Nayak, 17th century
Bronze; height: 26 and 28cm.

A Yali is a mythical creature often depicted in Indian art and architecture. It is a particularly popular design to decorate pillars in South-Indian temples. The animal can appear in different forms – it may be part lion, part elephant, or part horse. They generally have bulging eyes, a lion like body, and a long snout. The present bronzes are expressive renderings of the mythical animals and capture their rampant natural forces. The two Yalis are beautifully decorated with fine necklaces. They presumably once supported a larger ritual object.

 
Provenance:
Private collection, Italy

 

Ganesha

India, Uttar-Pradesh, Pratihara, 9th-10th century
Sandstone; height: 72cm.

 

Ganesha, the elephant headed Hindu deity and embodiment of wisdom, is depicted dancing holding three attributes in his four hands: an axe, a fruit, and a bowl for offerings. This sculpture has a smoothly worked surface and a dynamic composition, evoking an energetic and graceful effect. Ganesha’s vehicle, the rat, is depicted to his right hand side and a musician playing the flute to his left. The reddish sandstone figure is stylistically influenced by medieval sculpture made during the Pratiharan Empire. The arched eyebrows, the naturalistic physical volumes, and powerful movement underline the mastery of North-Indian artists from this important medieval time.

 

Provenance:
Collection Mr. Johnny Eskenazi, Italy/England, before 1999
Collection Mr. Nico Vrielink, the Netherlands, 1999-2010

Published:
Marcel Nies, Nirvana: Sculpture from India, Himalayas and Southeast Asia, Antwerp, 2010, pp. 22-23.

Head Of Buddha Mukhalinda

Thailand, Lopburi, 13th century
Grey sandstone; height: 36cm.

 

This serene head of Buddha is softly sculpted and shows a beautiful natural patina. Due to Khmer supremacy, the Bayon and Angkor schools strongly influenced Lopburi art. Lopburi sculptures, including the present, do show distinct features such as very large spiral curls, an elliptical form of the face, prominent upper eyelids and delicately outlined eyebrows. It is likely that a multi headed snake (mukhalinda) formerly hooded this Buddha, as such iconography was popular during the 13th century in Lopburi.

 

Provenance:
Collection H. M. Luther Antiques Ltd. London, before November 1978
Private collection, England, November 1978-2018

Buddha Wrapped By Mukhalinda

Thailand, Lan Na, 16th century
Bronze, remains of polychromy, lacquer and gilding; height: 45cm.

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.

Provenance:
Private collection, The Netherlands

Head Of Buddha Sakyamuni

Thailand, Ayudhia, 15th century
Sandstone; height: 37cm.

 

This well-preserved sculpture is a pure representation of the historical Buddha and a true example of the 15th century Ayudhia School. The beautifully textured red sandstone and stylized clean-cut facial features are characteristic for sculptures produced in South-central Thailand. A similar example can be found in the Chantrarakasem Museum in Ayudhia (item ID #223CMN/2519/224). Both showcase a wide forehead, clearly delineated headband, tight small curls and similarly defined half-open eyes, nose and mouth.

 

Provenance:
Collection Mr. Claude Demarteau, Belgium
Collection Mr. Walter Fabiani, Italy

Ritual Bell

Cambodia, Dong Son, circa 2nd century
Bronze; height: 56,5cm.

 

Traditionally, bells were used during religious and cremation ceremonies, to perform the hymn in honour of the deceased. It is also thought that they were used for announcements and for scaring demons and enemies by striking the hollow cup with a beater. This bell is decorated with geometrical designs and has an elliptical shape typical of the Dong Son style. Metal played an important role in local Cambodian cultures and excavations of patterned bells in the Pursat province near the Battambang region indicate the existence of a highly developed bronze casting tradition in the Dong Son culture. This bell is in excellent condition; the spiral motifs are clearly visible excepted by a few naturally worn areas. The expressive volume and natural patina demonstrate the aesthetic value of this early bronze work.

 

Provenance:
Private Collection, The Netherlands

Lokeshvara

Cambodia, Bayon Style, 13th century
Bronze; height: 28.5cm.

The Bayon School is considered a superior style period of Khmer culture. The present bronze of Lokeshvara has a beautiful slate grey-greenish patina. The sculpture is cast with fine details including jewellery, a tall crown (which used to bear a gem of some sort), incised knees and nipples, and sophisticated geometric floral designs on his garment. This upstanding figure has a strong pose contrasting with the many details. Lokeshvara’s finely modelled face is characteristic for Bayon, showing a tender smile, pronounced nose and wide closed eyes.


Provenance:
Collection Mrs. Joke van Welij, the Netherlands

Vishnu

Cambodia, Baphuon, 11th century
Bronze; height: 20cm.

This bronze of the Hindu god of preservation, Vishnu, is characterised by a dynamic pose and noticeable artistic virtuosity. The deity’s rare posture is likely inspired by the large depiction of Vishnu stepping towards the sun in the central part of the Prasat Kravan temple, a 10th century Bakeng temple in Cambodia. This sculpture is a classic example of the elegant Khmer Baphuon style, demonstrating refined garments, headdress and jewellery. In addition, the sculpture shows typical Baphuon facial physiognomy: wide open eyes, prominently outlined eyebrows and full lips. In comparison to other Baphuon bronzes of this scale, the present is a lively and more elaborate example.

 

Provenance:
Private Collection, France

Vajrasattva

Cambodia, Angkor Vat, 12th century
Bronze; height: 17.5cm.

This small yet incredibly fine bronze of Vajrasattva was made during the glorious Angkor Vat period – a highlight of the Khmer empire. In Mahayana Buddhism Vajrasattva was venerated as the Adi-Buddha, the primordial Buddha of innate wisdom. This sculpture is in good original condition leaving a naturally worn jade-green coloured patina. The nimbus is cast separately from the figure, which is a common technique for Angkor bronzes. This statue was included in the exhibition of “Entdeckungen: Skulpturen der Khmer und Thai” in the Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Koln, April – July 1989.

 

Provenance:
Collection Mr. Wolfgang Felten, Germany

 

Published:
Felten & M. Lerner, Entdeckungen, Skulpturen der Khmer und Thai, Cologne, 1989, p.100-101.

Guardian Lion

Cambodia, Banteay Srei, 10th century
Sandstone; height: 57cm.

Banteay Srei is a 10th century temple situated in Siem Reap, Cambodia and exhibits some of the most outstanding carvings in the Angkor region made from a reddish sandstone. This sculpture of a lion is impressive and in good condition. It is sculpted from red sandstone and shows an artistic sophistication similar to the Banteay Srei temple and its surroundings. The present lion was originally positioned at an entrance, stairway, or terrace of a temple or sanctuary, acting as a guardian lion protecting the building from evil spirits.

 

Provenance:
Collection Mr. Stefan Grusenmeyer, Belgium

Lokeshvara

Cambodia, Bayon, circa 1200 AD.
Sandstone; height: 56cm.

Lokeshvara is the Mahayana deity of compassion. The naturally worn upper torso is decorated with numerous figures of Buddha and a larger seated Buddha in the middle of Lokeshvara’s chest, representing the “thousand Buddhas” concept. This Khmer iconography is a visual symbol of an important Mahayana ritual involving chanting the names of Buddhas of the past, present and future. This fragmentary sculpture shows mature Bayon physiognomy: full volumes and well-balanced proportions. The type of grey sandstone used to carve this sculpture corresponds with the material of Khmer statues found in the region of Bayon. This rare and attractive sculpture with interesting provenance shows high technical skill and is a classic Khmer work of art.

 

Provenance:
Collection William Clayton Ltd. gallery, London, 1966
Collection, Dr. G. Macken, Belgium, 1970s – 1984

Collection Jean Nies and Barbara La Rocco, the Netherlands, 1984 – 2018

Published:
Oriental Art Magazine Ltd., A quarterly publication devoted to all forms of Oriental Art, New Series, Surrey, 1966.

Maitreya

Myanmar, Arakan, 13th-14th century
Bronze, traces of lacquer and gilding; height: 29cm.

Maitreya, the future Buddha, sits in an upright position on a little bench with his hands in the abhayamudra and varadamudra gestures – this position is also referred to as the “European style”. His tall elaborately decorated crown and large earrings stand out, showing remains of gilding and lacquer. This type of crown became popular in medieval Arakan, and is influenced by Indian Pala sculptures from the 8th-12th century. The slightly disproportioned body and large head evoke a primordial energy supporting its early dating.


Provenance:
Collection Jean Nies and Barbara La Rocco, The Netherlands

Vajrabhairava Yamantaka

Tibet, 18th century
Distemper on cloth; 110 x 70cm.

Vajrabhairava is a Buddhist deity celebrated as Dharmapala, the protector and destroyer of death. He is recognised by his 9 heads and 34 arms holding weapons and 16 legs trampling birds, dogs and other gods. He is depicted with his consort, Vajravetali, in a sexual embrace to evoke the concept of dualistic totality – most valued in Buddhist religion. Tsong Khapa is seated in the upper part of the painting surrounded by 21 other lamas, Siddha and Arhats. The green and white taras, goddesses of liberation, are depicted on the left and right hand sides of the painting. The lower register includes 7 additional Dharmapalas, who like Vajrabhairava, are defenders of the Buddhist law. The expressive figures, vibrant colours, and excellent condition add to the importance and rarity of this temple painting.

 

Provenance:
Collection Mr. Wim Isphording, the Netherlands

Saptamatrikas

India, Karnataka, Hoysala kingdom, 12th-13th century
Chlorite Schist; 60 by 30cm.

This fragmentary relief depicts four of the seven saptamatrikas, mother goddesses in Hindu religion. Shiva playing a flute is depicted on their left hand side. This iconography became a popular decorative motive in Saiva temples, often seen on lintels placed above entrances and doorways. The goddesses are adorned with elaborate jewellery and sheltered by refined lotus halos. The Hoysala dynasty (circa 1000 – 1346 AD) is well known for their unique and sophisticated architectural and artistic style, revealing much dynamicity and deeply cut carvings, creating visual depth – which is noted in the present sculpture. In addition, this sculpture was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1990s and included in the exhibition organised by the MAS Museum, Antwerp: India ontmoet het MAS, 04/10/2013 – 12/01/2014.

 

Provenance:
Private Collection, United Kingdom

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 singly 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 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.

 

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 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.