Buddha statues to be auctioned

Xinhuanet, Oct 28, 2004

BEIJING, China -- One of China's largest auctioneers, Guardian, said Thursday that it will auction off a collection of Buddhist art on Nov. 6.

A total of 135 Buddha statues, most of which are made from gilt bronze, will be sold during the autumn auctions. It is the first time that China Guardian has held an auction solely for Buddhist art.

Guardian has collected a seated statue of Songzan Gambo (569-650), the ruler who first unified Tibet and the chieftain of the Tubo Dynasty. The statue, made between the end of the imperial Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is a valuable piece in terms of history, culture, art and technique. It is rare both in theme and design. The piece was acquired by a French collector in 1905 and was eventually returned to its homeland.

Among all the works waiting for bidding, a gilt-bronze figure of seated Maitreya, with its superior design and impressive workmanship, is the solely royal statue in the period under the rein of Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty that can be found in China and abroad.

China Guardian Auctions will also hold an additional 12 auctions between Nov. 6 and 9 in Kunlun Hotel, to sell some 6,000 works ranging from porcelain to calligraphy to modern art.

According to Guardian, more than 1,360 Chinese paintings and calligraphy works will be auctioned during this time, with 33 pieces expected to be sold at a price above one million yuan (approximately 121,000 US dollars).