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Carved limestone from ancient Chinese caves could reach $60,000 in Heritage Asian Art Auction
A Chinese Carved Limestone Seated Figure of Maitreya Buddha. Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000.

DALLAS, TX.- A beautiful carved limestone figure from a wall fragment in the Longmen Caves in Henan province could bring $60,000 or more in Heritage Auctions' Fine & Decorative Asian Art Auction Dec. 11.

"We are proudly presenting a variety of fine and decorative Asian works of art, including snuff bottles, jade carvings, fine dynastic ceramics, important paintings and calligraphy etc.," Heritage Auctions Asian Art Consignment Director Moyun Niu said. "This auction also features a group of scholar's objects, from naturally sculpted Suzhou scholar's rocks to exquisitely carved Zitan brushpots."

A Chinese Carved Limestone Seated Figure of Maitreya Buddha, Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan Province, Northern Wei Dynasty (estimate: $40,000-60,000) originally was part of a wall fragment south of Luoyang, where it has been suggested that related examples would have stood in niches along the northern wall of the Guiyang cave. Figures such as the offered example are identified as Maitreya Buddha, the successor of the historic Sakyamuni Buddha. A very similar example is found in the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, as illustrated by O. Sirén, Chinese Sculptures in the von der Heydt Collection, Zurich, 1959, Catalogue no. 11. Another depiction of Maitreya Buddha from Longmen is in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York. The offered lot was purchased from Mathias Komor, who was the leading dealer in Chinese art in New York in the post-war period and assisted in the formation of major institutional and private collections.

A Pair of Chinese Painted and Gilded Pottery Lokapala, Tang Dynasty (estimate: $30,000-50,000) depicts a pair of figures, each standing straight up on a shaped base, with fierce face expressions and bent arms; each wearing elaborately decorated armors with dragon motifs under long robes, the armors and robes picked out in orange and green pigment, and the armors richly gilded. The result of Oxford thermoluminescence tests is consistent with the dating of this lot.

A Tibetan Gilt Bronze Figure of Vajrapani, 14th century (estimate: $30,000-40,000) is a magnificent representation of one of the earliest-appearing bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism. Vajrapani is extensively represented in Buddhist iconography as one of the earliest three protective deities or bodhisattvas surrounding the Buddha. The bronze figure, with inset gemstones, stands 5-1/8 inches tall.

A Chinese Jade and Hardstone-Inlaid Wood Six-Panel Screen, Qing Dynasty, 19th century (estimate: $20,000-30,000) is an exceptional screen that stands more than 5 feet (62 inches) high and stretches 114 inches long. Each panel is divided into three sections, the central and bottom sections embellished with carved animals and flowering branches, all applied with various hardstones, jade, coral, turquoise and lapis lazuli, the top section with inscription and various seals of Zheng Banqiao (1693-1766).

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

• A Chinese Flambé Glazed Vase (estimate: $20,000-30,000)

• A Pair of Chinese painted pottery Lokapalas, Tang Dynasty (estimate: $15,000-25,000)

• A Chinese Blue and White Lotus Vase, Tianqiuping, Qing Dynasty, 18th century (estimate: $15,000-20,000)

• Qian Du Making Pills of Immortality under Tree Shades, 1835 (estimate: $12,000-18,000)

• A Chinese Tobi Seiji Decorated Longquan Celadon Covered Jar, Yuan Dynasty, 14th century (estimate: $10,000-20,000)

• Chinese School Procession of Wang Zhaojun(estimate: $10,000-15,000)

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