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Re: the gilt statue was 7-8th century of Tang Dynasty -- redmountain Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: will Post Reply
08/03/2018, 14:38:00

Hi RM,

It's good to see you here. With respect, I think you may be wrong about the dating of this simple little devotional figure. I've seen several similar dated examples from the Wei dynasties in the fifth and sixth centuries. For instance, one with an inscription on the back that dates it to the year 474 was sold at Christie's in September 2013. The gilding on it has mostly worn away but it's virtually identical to the one that I showed here.

Generally speaking, the later Tang dynasty examples are more elaborate, with flowing robes and mandorlas (the fiery haloes) that are more detailed; they are quite often enthroned, and if standing, frequently have a wider plinth, sometimes in a lotus shape. The movement from simplicity to elaboration is typical, I think, of the wider cultural shifts in those centuries, particularly in the practices of Buddhism.

But having said that, I wouldn't rule out your suggestion entirely. These figures were cast in a variety of different foundries according to the tastes of customers, and in some places older fashions lingered on into later periods.

Cheers,

Will



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