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Fresh-to-market works lead Bonhams Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian art sale in Hong Kong
A gilt copper figure of Vasudhara from Nepal, 14th Century, estimated at HK$1,600,000 - 2,400,000 (US$204,800-307,200). Photo: Bonhams.


HONG KONG.- Bonhams Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art department will offer a diverse and rare selection of 196 artworks across two sales, ranging from a 2nd-century Northern India to 19th-century Mongolia, reflecting the historic spread of Buddhism throughout Asia.

Taking place on Tuesday 2 October in Hong Kong, Bonhams will present a single-owner sale of the Presencer Collection of Buddhist Art, followed by the Images of Devotion sale.

The Presencer Collection of Buddhist Art
The Presencer Collection of Buddhist Art celebrates the magical aspect of Tibetan Buddhism, represented by a host of wealth deities, protectors, amulets, malas, and potent ritual implements.

Highlights in the sale include:

• A gilt copper figure of Vasudhara from Nepal dating from the 14th century, estimated at HK$1,600,000-2,400,000;

• A gilt copper alloy figure of Yama Dharmaraja from the Qianlong period (1735-1796). Cast in two parts, with original consecrations of both the figure and base intact, the piece is estimated at HK$400,000-600,000;

• A gilt copper figure of Tara from Nepal dating from the 15th/16th century, estimated at HK$500,000-800,000;

• A copper alloy figure of Shadbhuja Mahakala from the 15th-century early Ming Dynasty , estimated at HK$250,000-350,000; and,

• A copper alloy vajra-ring from Yunnan, Dali Kingdom, dating from the 12th century, estimated at HK$40,000-60,000.

Over the past 50 years, Alain Presencer has devoted his life to the study and promotion of Tibetan Buddhism and culture. His contributions to the field resulted in numerous recognitions, including his appointment as a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. Alain also brought to the West his knowledge of the extraordinary and mystical religious music of the region. As a result, he even produced a popular recording of his own performances, introducing this musical genre to a global audience with his album, ‘The Singing Bowls of Tibet’, which has sold over a million copies.

The collection of 99 pieces offered at Bonhams in this single-owner auction, represents an encyclopaedic array of Buddhist art assembled by Alain and his wife Sheila during a 50-year period.

“It is a testament to Alain’s commitment that he has given his entire adult life to the study, preservation, and appreciation of Tibetan ritual artefacts, which is still to this day one of Asia’s least-understood cultural traditions,” commented Edward Wilkinson, Bonhams Global Head of Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art.

Images of Devotion
A 6th-century inscribed brass alloy figure of standing Buddha leads Bonhams Images of Devotion sale. Carrying an estimate of HK$15,000,000 to HK$20,000,000, this exceptional piece has been extensively published and exhibited while being fresh to the market. It represents a masterpiece of early Buddhist Art from the Silk Road, with features that connect the ancient civilizations of Greece, Iran, India, and China.

This work is part of a significant collection of eight Gandharan Buddhist sculptures offered in the auction, which also include the following highlights from the Elizabeth and Willard Clark Collection:

• A massive polychromed stucco head of Buddha dating around the 4th/5th century. Measuring at 61cm high, this piece is estimated at HK$3,000,000-5,000,000;

• A stucco panel of Buddha surrounded by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas from the 4th/5th century and estimated at HK$3,000,000-5,000,000; and,

• A Schist torso of Bodhisattva from the 4th century estimated at HK$1,500,000-2,500,000.

The auction also features two notable Tibetan gilt bronze sculptures from the prestigious Nyingjei Lam Collection, which was formed in the 1970s and 1980s by a passionate collector based in the Far East for almost fifty years, including:

• A distinctive gilt copper alloy figure of Buddha dating from the 15th century and estimated at HK$8,000,000-12,000,000; and,

• A gilt copper alloy figure of Tsongkhapa dating from the 16th century and estimated at HK$800,000-1,200,000.

“The quality of the Nyingjei Lam Collection is unparalleled in diversity and rarity of sculpture, spanning a millennium, and is considered one of the gold standards in the field of collecting Himalayan Art. Bonhams is honored to be presenting the select works, supporting the Nyingjei Lam Trust's mission of education and social projects in India and other regions around the globe,” further explains Edward Wilkinson.

Other highlights include:

• A black-ground thangka of Panjarnata Mahakala from Central Tibet and dating from the 18th century. Estimated at HK$3,200,000-4,800,000 and fresh to the market, this visually stunning and superbly detailed composition represents the height of Tibetan painting during this period

• A gilt copper alloy figure of Padmapani Lokeshvara from Tibet and dating from the 14th century, is estimated HK$16,000,000-20,000,000. Measuring a significant 55cm high, including the lotus stem, this opulent figure represents the crescendo of Tibetan aesthetics with a luxurious silver-inlaid gilded surface





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