Early Nepalese sculpture on sale in New York

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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.

A 10th/11th century gilt copper figure of the female manifestation of the divine, Devi, will also be offered (est. $80,000-100,000). Both sculptures come from the same 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); a 12th century Central Tibetan copper alloy Avalokiteshvara from the same collection (est. $300,000-500,000); and 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. Notable pieces include a 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).

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.