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Early Nepalese sculpture in focus at Bonhams Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art sale
A gilt copper figure of Devi. Nepal, circa 10th century. Est $ 80,000 - 120,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art sale on March 17, part of Asia Week New York, will feature fine and early Nepalese figurative sculptures. Among the highlights is a gilt copper figure of Vajrapani, the Buddha’s protector and guide, from the early 10th century (est. $100,000-150,000). The fluid and joyous sculpture is especially notable for its dark brown patina, acquired through extensive ritual handling. An ethereal 10th/11th century gilt copper figure of the female manifestation of the divine, Devi, will also be offered (est. $80,000-120,000). Both sculptures come from the same distinguished collection.

Edward Wilkinson, Bonhams senior consultant and specialist for the sale commented, “These early Nepalese bronzes are remarkable. There’s very little Nepalese material from this period available and to offer these fine examples directly from a Private US Collection makes them all the more extraordinary. Nepalese sculpture was long-regarded as the pinnacle of Southeast Asian art and the market is currently rediscovering this rich tradition.”

Additional Nepalese highlights include a 13th century gilt copper Yogambara (est. $150,000-250,000). This masterful rendering of intertwined bodies, delicately inlaid with jewels, comes from a superb Private American Collection of Himalayan art to be offered in the sale. A 12th century Central Tibetan copper alloy Avalokiteshvara from the same collection will also be available (est. $300,000-500,000), as will a Tibetan Thirty-Two-Deity Guhyasamaja Mandala, circa 1520-1530 (est. $400,000-600,000).

Splendid Tibetan mandalas can be found throughout the sale, including 18th and 19th century pieces with a Chinese-influenced aesthetic. A black ground thangka of Panjaranatha Mahakala from Tibet, circa 1800, will be on offer from a private UK collection (est. $30,000-40,000), while an 18th century Mandala of Chakrasamvara from Central Tibet is best compared with similar examples found in the Palace Museum, Beijing (est. $100,000-150,000).

Indian art is also well represented in the sale. Connoisseurs are sure to appreciate a beautifully serene marble Jina from Western India, circa 11th century, from a Private Toronto Collection (est. $60,000-80,000). The sale’s strong Indian painting section will feature an illustration to a ragamala series, Dhanasi Ragini from Bilaspur, 1740 (est. $15,000-20,000). The delicate opaque watercolor and gold illustration was formerly in the collection of George Bickford, a celebrated collector and generous donor to the Cleveland Museum of Arts’ renowned holdings.

Bonhams Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art sale will take place on March 17 in New York. The sale will preview March 14-17 at Bonhams New York.

Highlights from the sale will preview February 14-16 at Bonhams Paris office and February 19-21 at Bonhams New Bond Street in London.

Bonhams will host a panel discussion on Nepalese aesthetics at the New York saleroom on March 16. Further information can be obtained by calling (212) 644-9001.





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