A Chinese bronze bodhisattva of Ksitigarbha Sold at Sworders for £11 500 in November 2017 A Chinese bronze bodhisattva of Ksitigarbha

Sold at Sworders for £11 500 in November 2017

On his voyages, he would collect pieces and bring them back to Britain. Yexue Li, the head of Sworders' Asian Art department, spotted this bronze piece that was sent in to Barnebys Valuation Service, and explained that the statue depicts Ksitigarbha, the Essence of the Earth, is one of the eight principal Mahayana students, or 'heart sons', of the Buddha, Shakyamuni. Ksitigarbha is known for his vow to take responsibility for the instruction of all beings in the six worlds between the death of Gautama Buddha and the rise of Maitreya, as well as his vow not to achieve Buddhahood until all hells are, emptied. He is therefore often regarded as the bodhisattva who brings help and comfort to those in the underworld realm of hell beings.

Yexue also explained that the little dog at the feet indicates that the Bodhisattva was the Korean prince.

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The piece is from the late Ming dynasty, his eyes looking down and with a calm facial expression, wearing an elaborate beaded headdress with a seated Buddha and lotus, in a kasaya tied to his left shoulder over an ankle-length, robe, a pearl to represent wisdom in his left hand as he stands on a double lotus platform.

Swords experts estimated the piece to sell for between £4 000-6 000 so we were delighted with the interest this piece sparked on sale day, with the hammer going down at £11 500 in their Asian Art auction on 7th November.

Submit your own piece for valuation here.

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