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Home > Auctions > 25th February 2020 > Large Gandharan Head of Buddha

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LOT 0363

Estimate
GBP (£) 6,000 - 8,000
EUR (€) 7,040 - 9,390
USD ($) 7,830 - 10,440

Opening Bid
£2,700 (EUR 3,169; USD 3,523) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

Large Gandharan Head of Buddha

2nd-3rd century AD

Of imposing size and presence while retaining Buddha's serenity, this carved larger than life-size schist head shows Gandharan sculpture's Graeco-Roman legacy; the naturalistic carving of the facial features from ridged eyebrows to rounded chin; the locks of hair flow in sinuous symmetrical waves from the widow's peak to the dome of his ushnisha; the ears are shown long with looped earrings drawing the lobes down towards the neck; the urna sits in low relief above the nasal ridge; mounted on a custom-made stand. 32.3 kg, 60cm including stand (23 1/2"). Very fine condition.

Provenance
Acquired for the ‘Buckingham Collection’ by the late Nik Douglas (1944-2012), renowned author, curator and Asian art expert; the collection formed from the early 1960s to early 1970s; displayed at the major exhibition ‘The Buddha Image: Out of Uddiyana’, Tibet House, 22 West 15th Street, New York, 16 September-20 October 2010, extended to 16 November and again to 7 January 2011; where the collection of one hundred pieces was publicly valued at US$ 15M; this piece was scheduled to be included in an exhibition entitled ‘On the Silk Route; Birth of The Buddha’, to be held in London from November 2012, but sadly his death prevented this; accompanied by copies of several press releases and articles for the exhibition, including Artnet News, This Week in New York, Huffpost and Buddhist Art News. Accompanied by geologic report No. TL005265 by geologic consultant Dr R. L. Bonewitz.

Published
Exhibited at ‘The Buddha Image: Out of Uddiyana’, Tibet House, 22 West 15th Street, New York, 16 September-20 October 2010, extended to 16 November and again to 7 January 2011; accompanied by a copy of the main Tibet House exhibition press release which shows an image of several of the most important items in the exhibition, including this piece which is first on the left.

Literature
Cf. Jongeward, D. Buddhist Art of Gandhara in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2018, item 70.

Footnotes
Dr Bonewitz notes: 'No definite source localities have been identified for the stones used by the Gandharan sculptors, but the predominant rock was an alumina-rich chloritoid-paragonite-muscovite-quartz schist, probably from Swat.'