A stone head of a bodhisattva, China, Tang Dynasty. Photo Sotheby’s
the full-face carved with heavily-lidded eyes and small mouth beneath a prominent brow, flanked by long ears with pendulous earlobes, the hair piled high in a series of coiled whorls, mounted. Height 14 1/4 in., 36.2 cm. Lot 417. Estimation 20,000 — 30,000 USD
PROVENANCE: Acquired at auction in New York, 1980s.
The coiled whorl hairstyle of the present lot relates stylistically to Tang period buddha heads, such as the ones illustrated in Rene-Yvon d’Argence, Chinese, Korean and Japanese Sculpture in the Avery Brundage Collection, Tokyo / New York, 1974, pp. 212-5, nos. 104 and 106; and other examples sold in these rooms, 22nd September 2004, lot 24, and 31st and 1st April 2005, lot 95. Apart from the treatment of the hair, these heads all have relatively plump faces, heavy eyelids and prominent brows. These features are also seen on the head of a Buddha figure illustrated in Jan Van Alphen, The Buddha in the Dragon Gate, Antwerp, 2001, no. 33.