Buddha sculpture sold for $14.3 million: Reuters,
Mar 19, 2008
NEW YORK, USA -- A wooden Buddha sculpture
set a new world auction record for Japanese art when it was
sold for $14,377,000 at Christie's on Tuesday to Mitsukoshi
The newly discovered 26-inch sculpture of
Dainichi Nyorai, the supreme Buddha, attributed to the sculptor
Unkei, soared to nearly 10 times its low pre-sale estimate
of $1.5 million at Christie's sale of Japanese and Korean
"History was made today,"said Katsura Yamaguchi,
Christie's International Director of Japanese and Korean Art.
"We witnessed enormous interest from clients worldwide
who traveled from near and far to ... participate in this
landmark sale," he added.
The previous record for Asian art at auction was $12.6 million.
Tuesday's price, which included Christie's commission, also
established a new record for Asian art sold at auction in
The seated, Cyprus wood Buddha is believed to be the work
of Unkei, considered one of the great carvers of the early
Kamakura period of the 1190s, Christie's said. Part of a family
collection in the northern Kanto region, before which it was
kept in a temple in the late 18th and early 19th centuries,
its existence was unknown until it was sold to a Buddhist
dealer and then bought by the consignor.
In December Sotheby's sold a tiny, ancient Mesopotamian sculpture
for $57 million, setting a record for any sculpture or antiquity