Published: September 17, 2015
NEW YORK CITY — A finely embroidered thangka displayed in an Arizona home for decades while the owners had little idea of its value, sold for $1,510,000 on September 16 to lead Sotheby’s Images of Enlightenment: Devotional Works of Art & Paintings auction. The beautiful piece was acquired by collectors Mr and Mrs Wilton D. Cole in 1971 and had been passed down to their children. Six bidders fought for several minutes before a private Asian collector placed the winning bid to secure the thangka for $1.5 million, more than ten times the presale low estimate and the top lot of the Asia Week sales in New York so far.
Overall the sale, which brings together Buddhist and Daoist art from Nepal, Tibet, Kashmir, Mongolia and China, brought a total of $3,876,500 with particularly strong participation from Chinese collectors. Other highlights include a gray stone head of a bodhisattva, China, Tang dynasty, which sold for $670,000, and a bronze figure of a Nagaraja, Tibet, Fifteenth Century, which fetched $250,000.
A full report on Asia Week auctions will appear later.
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