Gilt Bronze Figure of Amitayus, Tibet, 18th Century
The benevloent figure with hair swept back in high chignon behind an elaborate five-leaf crown with short sashes tied behind the ears, revealing a bare torso festooned with jewelled chains, seated in padmasana on a beaded double-lotus base, the hands in mudra of meditation, dhyanamudra, held above the thighs, double vajra pattern on the sealed base
height 6.7" — 17 cm.
The Harry Handel Collection of Chinese and Himalayan Buddhist Sculpture (Lots 77-87)
Purchased during the 1950’s at the Gurie Gallery, Montreal, thence by descent within the family.
Harry Handel (1916-1972) was born in Montreal. Self-educated, he and his friend Louis Melzack both opened bookstores in downtown Montreal during the 1930’s. Handel’s bookshop was Everyman’s Bookshop, and Melzack opened Classics Bookshop. After marrying Louis’ sister, Esther Melzack, Harry and Esther grew their bookstore into an intellectual centre, specializing in exploration, anthropology, religion and art.
Harry Handel became an authority in Canadian art and culture, and has been referenced in numerous publications and books (ref: G. Stevens, In a Canadian Attic; J. Houston, Confessions of an Igloo Dweller). Close friends and customers include leading Canadian artists of the day Arthur Lismer, Sam Borenstein and A.Y. Jackson. Alex Gurie, of Montreal’s famed Gurie Gallery, was also a close friend of Handel’s and taught him to appreciate and collect Asian antiques.
Toward the end of Handel’s life, his second-hand bookshop had grown into an estate buying and art-dealing business. Everyman’s Bookshop closed in 1970 when Handel died at the age of 55. His wife Esther donated a collection of Canadian art to the Leonard and Bina Ellen Galerie of Montreal’s Concordia University in memory of Harry Handel. (ref: Horatio Walker by David Karel).
Waddington’s is proud to offer the Collection of Harry Handel in this auction. Throughout this catalogue, you will find other items from this collection including ivory carvings, Chinese glass, and Chinese jade carvings.