A Thai, Chien Seng or Sukhothai Style, Massive Bronze Figure of Buddha Sakyamuni, 15th/16th Century
素可泰王朝風格 15/16世紀 銅製釋迦摩尼佛
Of great presence and very finely cast, seated in virasana, with hands resting in bhairava mudra signifying supreme consciousness, with samghati delicately cascading over the body, a serene and meditative expression over the face, with arched eyebrows, gently smiling lips, elongated earlobes, and the curled hairdress and usnisha surmounted by a flame
height 37.8" — 96 cm.
A very similar example is in The Metropolitan Museum, New York, purchased from The J. H.W. Thompson Foundation Gift and Gifts of Friends of Jim Thompson, in his memory, 2002, accession number: 2002.131
Another very similar example was sold at Christie’s Amsterdam, October 31, 2000, lot 124
A comparable Buddha head was also sold at Christie’s Amsterdam, December 16, 2003, lot 119
From the Collection of Robert Stephenson (lots 49-56)
Bob was born in Brantford, Ontario in 1948. After receiving an honours degree in physics, mathematics and chemistry, he pursued a successful career in banking. In 1980, he was transferred from Vancouver to Asia with the Toronto Dominion Bank, and it was there that he fell in love with Asian art. He began collecting Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean pieces, and became particularly enamoured with figures of the Buddha, explaining that they gave him a sense of “peace and serenity”. To accommodate his growing collection, Bob began to sell various pieces, and in 1983 he and a friend, Nonny Clemete, established their company Artifacts. When the bank proposed Bob’s relocation to North America in 1984, he opted to trade in his suit and tie for his signature silk-shirt-and-black-pant ensemble, and focused all of his time on collecting and dealing in Asian art. He expanded Artifacts internationally, establishing showrooms in Hong Kong, Brussels, Toronto and Manila, and also opened a factory workshop in Manila where furniture was produced. Bob’s passion for Asian art was enduring, and despite his success in banking, he asserted that “I know I am much happier this way. Maybe I have to work twice as hard, but I am also having twice as much fun doing what I do.” While he amassed an impressive collection throughout his career, perhaps his most prized piece was the Thai Chien Seng Buddha from the 15th or 16th century (lot 54), which can be seen in the portrait of Bob by a renowned Toronto artist.