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LOT 0389

GBP (£) 18,000 - 24,000
EUR (€) 20,460 - 27,280
USD ($) 23,070 - 30,760

Opening Bid
£16,200 (EUR 18,415; USD 20,760) (+bp*) Add to Watch list

Gandharan Over Life-Size Bodhisattva Head

2nd-4th century AD

A superbly sculpted larger-than-life sized carved schist bodhisattva head, clean-shaven apart from a neat pointed moustache, with serene and contemplative expression; the hair carved in wavy bands drawn back from the forehead and held by a braided browband, with two lateral hanks separated and tied above; the facial features sharp and carefully portrayed with small pursed mouth and heavy-lidded almond eyes, urna to the brow; the ears with long lobes pierced to accept earrings; mounted on a custom-made stand. 49.5 kg, 65cm including stand (25 1/2"). Very fine condition.

Property of a London gentleman; previously with central London gallery; imported from the USA in the early 1970s; formerly with Mahboubian Gallery, New York since the late 1960s; accompanied by copy of an early 1970s black and white photograph.

Cf. Tissot, F. Gandhâra, Librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient, J. Maisonneuve (ed.), Paris 1985, pl.XXX for type.

Gandhara was an ancient political unit of the Peshawar valley, which covered the territory between the valley of the River Swat and the Potohar plateau regions of modern Pakistan and a portion of modern Afghanistan. It was controlled from its principal cities including Kapisa (modern Bagram), Pushkalavati, Puruṣapura (modern Peshawar) and latterly Udabhandapura (Hund) on the River Indus. The name occurs in the Rig Veda and in the Behistun inscription which lists the territories of the Achaemenid king Darius I (519 BC). Herodotus's Histories mentions it also as one of the territories which paid tribute to Darius. Several characters in the the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are associated with the kingdom. In 327 BC, Alexander the Great conquered Gandhara among many other Indian satellites of the Persian Empire which had refused to submit to Macedonian rule. Oxyartes was appointed to the position of ruler of Gandhara by Alexander in 326 BC.

The Kushan period is considered the Golden Age of the Gandharan kingdom. In the Peshawar Valley are many ruins of Buddhist stupas and religious foundations of this period. The characteristic Gandharan art flourished and the output of statuary reached its height during the reign of the Kushan king Kanishka the Great (128–151 AD). Buddhist art spread from Gandhara to other parts of Asia and Gandhara became a 'holy land' of Buddhism which attracted Chinese pilgrims. An important Buddhist shrine made Peshawar a famed object of pilgrimage until the 7th century AD. In the 5th century, Hunnic invasion entailed a persecution of Buddhists and the resulting gradual return to the Hindu faith. Islam was introduced to the region by Arab powers from the 9th century and in the early 11th Gandhara fell to the Ghaznavid Empire.

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Lot No. 0389

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Auction Catalogue

Auction Venue:
The May Fair Hotel London
Stratton Street
Mayfair London, W1J 8LT

Viewing from noon Monday 25th Feb 2019
Champagne Reception: 6pm - 9pm

Tuesday 26th Feb 2019 (Day 1)
10am : Lots 1 - 660

Auction Venue:
The Court House
363 Main Road
Harwich, CO12 4DN

Auctions start 10am GMT (Lunch 1.30 - 2pm)
Wednesday 27th Feb 2019 (Day 2)
Lots 700 - 1388
Thursday 28th Feb 2019 (Day 3)
Lots 1389 - 2081
Friday 1st March 2019 (Day 4)
Lots 2082 - 2759
Saturday 2nd March 2019 (Day 5)
Lots 3001 - 3862

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