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Gilt copper alloy figure of Maitreya achieves top lot at Bonhams Asia Week sales
The sculpture depicts Maitreya – the bodhisattva of loving kindness – seated in a relaxed posture of ease on an exquisitely modelled blooming lotus. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- A 13th /14th century gilt copper alloy figure of Maitreya from the Khasa Malla kingdom was the top lot of Bonhams’ marquee Asia Week sales in New York. Sold on 23 September at the Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art Sale, the cover lot realised US$ 680,075, well exceeding its pre-sale estimate of US$ 400,000–600,000.

An exceptional bronze for its size and clear refinement, the sculpture depicts Maitreya – the bodhisattva of loving kindness – seated in a relaxed posture of ease on an exquisitely modelled blooming lotus, with his right hand raised to reassure his followers. Despite his languid pose, his toes remain flexed, a delightful detail that signals the bodhisattva remains alert from his celestial abode to the suffering of others.

Edward Wilkinson, Bonhams’ Global Head of the Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art and Executive Director, Asia, commented: “The superb and magnetic figure of Maitreya achieved a great price consistent with a buoyant market. Strong results were also seen across all areas within the category, and we anticipate the momentum to continue into our Hong Kong sale of Images of Devotion on 5 October.”

Dessa Goddard, US Head, Asian Art at Bonhams, added: “We are delighted to see an Asian art market buoyed by strong resilience. Despite global developments this year, collectors want to collect. Fresh, rare and high-quality properties with good provenance continue to attract active and deep bidding from our international clientele across sales. We look forward to our upcoming Asian art sales in Hong Kong, London, Sydney and Los Angeles, as well as the online-only sales on”

Other notable prices achieved in this week of Bonhams’ Asia Week sale series include:

Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art Sale (23 September)

• A Pair of Silver and Gilt Copper Alloy Figures of The Seventh Karmapa Chodrak Gyatso and The Fourth Sharmapa Chokyi Drakpa, Tibet, Late 15th /16th Century. Sold for US$ 437,575. Over four times the estimate: US$ 100,000–150,000

Chinese Paintings and Works of Art Sale (21 September)

• Qi Baishi, Narcissus, Rock and Quail. Sold for US$ 437,575. Over five times the estimate: US$ 80,000–120,000

• A Pair of Jade and Hardstone Overlay Lacquer Panels, Imperial Workshops, 18th Century. Sold for US$ 387,575. Over 19 times the estimate: US$ 20,000–30,000

Fine Japanese and Korean Art (24 September)

• A Large and Fine Porcelain Moon Flask, Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), 16th /17th Century. Sold for US$ 87,575. Estimate: US$ 70,000–80,000

• A Haramaki Cuirass, Muromachi (1333-1573) or Momoyama (1573-1615) Period, Late 16th Century. Sold for US$ 68,825. More than doubling the estimate: US$ 25,000–35,000

Elegant Embellishments Sale (21 September)

• A Crystal and Gold Bead Necklace. Sold for: US$ 15,075. Estimate: US$ 10,000–15,000

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