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Bonhams to offer 8 museum-quality sculptures from one of the most important Himalayan art collections
A Silver Inlaid Copper Alloy Figure of Avalokitesvara, Swat Valley, circa 7th Century. Estimate: HK$1.6 – 2million. Photo: Bonhams.


HONG KONG.- The international auction house Bonhams will present ‘The Path of Compassion: Masterpieces of Buddhist Sculpture’ on 7 October in Hong Kong – a single owner sale of eight Buddhist sculptures from the esteemed Nyingjei Lam Collection.

The Collection, which translates into ‘Paths of Compassion’, is long regarded as the gold standard in the field of collecting Himalayan Art, comprising outstanding examples of Tibetan sculpture as well as superb works from surrounding regions that were important in the formation of Tibetan sculpture: eastern India, Swat Valley and Nepal.

The eight works on offer – all fresh to the market – were previously on long-term loan for more than ten years to the Rubin Museum of Art, New York. Spanning a millennium from seventh century Nepal to 17th century Tibet, these museum-quality sculptures are immediately magnetic in their beauty and presence, each representing the very best of its own types.

Edward Wilkinson, Bonhams’ Global Head of the Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art and Executive Director, Asia, commented: ‘It is a truly rare occasion that eight Buddhist sculptures of this preeminent quality are available in the market at once. We are honoured to be entrusted with this collection, which is a testament to Bonhams’ dedication to the field of Himalayan Art as a defined category.’

Leading the sale is A Gilt Copper Figure of Bodhisattva Nepal, circa 9th Century, noted for his commanding presence with a facial expression of empyrean authority and transcendent stillness. Belonging to a very small group of large-scale sculptures from the early Nepalese tradition, he is seated in an unusual relaxed position holding a single jewel in his raised right hand. The surface has been worn smooth from centuries of ritual worship and retains a glossy smooth patina. The traces of blue pigment in the hair is indicative of the sculpture having been transferred and preserved in Tibet.

The collector, who is a Roman Catholic of Irish-American origin but was based in Asia for almost half a century, began to form this collection after encountering the compassionate smiles that radiated from the faces of many of the statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, saints and lamas. Over his collecting journey, the collector discovered that in Buddhism the path to true freedom and happiness is both love and compassion – just as in his faith in Christianity.

Proceeds from this sale will go to support the Nyingjei Lam Trust’s mission of education and social projects in India and other regions around the globe.

Other Highlights Include:

• A SILVER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF AVALOKITESVARA, SWAT VALLEY, CIRCA 7TH CENTURY. Estimate: HK$1.6 – 2million

• A COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF CANDA VAJRAPANI, TIBET, CIRCA 12TH-13TH CENTURY. Estimate: HK$2–3 million

• A COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF JAMBHALA, TIBET, CIRCA 13TH-14TH CENTURY. Estimate: HK$2.4–2.8 million

• A SILVER FIGURE OF MAHAPRATISARA, TIBET, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY. Estimate: HK$1.2–1.6 million

• A GILT COPPER FIGURE OF VAJRAHUMKARA, TIBET OR NEPAL, CIRCA 9TH CENTURY. Estimate: HK$8–12 million

• A GILT COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF VIRUPA, TIBET, CIRCA 14TH CENTURY. Estimate: HK$2.4– 2.8 million

• A PARCEL-GILT SILVER FIGURE OF MANJUSHRI, NEPAL, CIRCA 9TH CENTURY. Estimate: HK$1– 1.5 million






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