Until 2nd May, 2024

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LOT 50 - AK0124

Buy now for €1,560.00

Lot details

Japan, c. 12th-13th century, late Heian (794-1185) to early Kamakura period (1185-1333)

The bronze hollow-cast and with remnants of gilding, depicting Jizo Bosatsu seated on a lotus pedestal featuring fine incision work, holding a wish-granting jewel in his left hand, his right hand raised in semui-in, the serene features with downcast eyes neatly chiseled. With an associated fitted wood presentation base.

HEIGHT (without base) 7.7 cm, HEIGHT (with base) 9.6 cm
WEIGHT (without base) 104.3 g

Jizo Bosatsu (Ksitigarbha) has been worshipped since the Heian period, particularly as the protector of children. This bodhisattva is a merciful figure who alone among Buddhist deities moves through the six worlds of illusion in his role of saving all sentient beings. The present representation of Jizo was commonly seen throughout the Heian (794-1185) and Kamakura periods (1185-1333).

This figure was originally mounted as a Kakebotoke (hanging Buddha), which are generally circular votive plaques symbolising mirrors which represent the sacred body of kami (Shinto deities). They originate from the practice of Shinbutsu-shugo (syncretism of kami and Buddhas) which was established in the Heian period. One of the few forms of Buddhist art unique to Japan, they can be found both at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples and are presented as offerings to safeguard the compound and to ensure the prosperity of the Buddhist faith. In the Buddhist context they were hung from the eaves above the main entrance to an Image Hall, or above the frieze rail between the outer and inner sanctums of the shrine for the deity that protected the temple compound. For more about kakebotoke and further examples, see Naniwada Toru, Nihon no bijutsu (Art of Japan), No. 284 Kyozo to Kakebotoke (Votive Buddhist mirrors and plaques), (Tokyo, 1990).

Condition: Very good condition with minor wear to gilding and some general surface wear, few casting irregularities, some tiny nicks here and there.
Provenance: From an English private collection.

Literature comparison:
For further examples see Anne Nishimura Morse et. Al. eds., Object as Insight, Japanese Buddhist Art and Ritual, Katonah Museum of Art, p. 46-47, pl. 9/10 & Nara National Museum, Bronze Sculpture of the Heian & Kamakura Periods (Special Exhibition), (Kyoto, 1976), p. 49-53.

Auction comparison:
For a related example fitted into a circular wood panel see Christie’s, Japanese and Korean Art, 20 March 2007, New York, lot 117 (sold for USD 18,000).


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