Photos & text: Bonhams
Bonhams’ Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian auction on 14 March fetched a total of $3.8 million. Himalayan works of art were hotly contested and top quality works in every segment, including Indian miniatures, sold for top dollar at the recent auction. The highest-selling lot of the evening was a thangka of Shakyamuni’s Parinirvana School of Choying Dorje, Eastern Tibet or Yunnan Province, China, late 17th century, which sold for $389,000 (Rs 26,202,366), soaring past its estimated cost of around $150,000. The thangka comes from a private collection in the UK. This enigmatic painting (featured among the other artworks here) stems from a set illustrating the twelve deeds of Shakyamuni. The ninth, and final within the set, depicts his departure into Parinirvana with a crowd of mourners from all walks of life, some anxious, some grief-stricken, some aghast, but most presenting some form of offering to the Buddha. Distinctive in the history of Tibetan painting, this thangka is painted in the fabled style of the Tenth Karmapa Choying Dorje (1604-1674).