Eighteen Arhats and Buddhist Art

Eighteen Arhats and Buddhist Art

Highlights from Our June 2021 Asian Works of Art Auction

The Sixteen Arhats are depicted in Mahayaha Buddhism, as the enlightened disciples of Gautama Buddha. In the Chinese, an additional two arharts were added later to fulfil other virtues in this roster, forming the famous Eighteen Arhats. We are delighted to offer several examples of Asian Works of Art displaying the The Eighteen Arhats in our forthcoming June auction.

An arhat, luohan, in Buddhism, is a perfected person who has achieved nirvana (spiritual enlightenment) by gaining absolute insight into the truth of existence. The Sixteen Arhats are depicted in Mahayaha Buddhism, as the enlightened disciples of Gautama Buddha. In the Chinese, an additional two arharts were added later to fulfil other virtues in this roster, forming the famous Eighteen Arhats. The depiction for each of the arhats has become more defined over the course of time by acquiring legendary anecdotes.

The bottle vase presented here is finely painted with nine arhats in two cartouches, each with their distinctive attributes. The highly stylised kui-dragon cartouches are reserved on a sensitively painted red tendril ground. Two closely comparable vases similarly decorated with The Eighteen Arhats and dated to the tenth year of Qianlong reign (1745 AD) were previously in the Qing Court collection, and now in the collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei, accession number 故瓷 (guci) 17952 and 17953.

FAMILLE ROSE 'EIGHTEEN ARHATS' VASELOT 223 | FAMILLE ROSE 'EIGHTEEN ARHATS' VASE | REPUBLIC PERIOD | 民國 乾隆款 琺瑯彩十八羅漢瓶
the bulbous body finely painted with eighteen arhats within two dragon-band cartouches, all against a red tendril ground, the neck decorated with a band of floral heads in tendrils against a yellow ground, all below a band of ruyi head around the mouth rim, the base inscribed with a four-character Qianlong mark in double squares in overglaze blue, with a wooden stand
(Qty: 1)23.5cm high | £800 - £1,200 + fees

 

View Lot 223 ⇒

 

Other Chinese examples depicting The Eighteen Arhats offered in this sale including: Lot 11, a group of fourteen chestnut carvings of Arhats, with each piece cleverly worked in round following the natural texture of the chestnut shell to render figures; and Lot 153, a blue and white and underglaze red censer, the base inscribed with a six-character Kangxi mark in underglaze blue. Furthermore, we can examine the depiction of arhats (rakan) in Japanese through the lobbed bowl of Lot 313.

 


Eighteen Arhats Highlights

 

Lot 11 | Group of Fourteen Chestnut Carvings of Arhat

LOT 11 | GROUP OF FOURTEEN CHESTNUT CARVINGS OF ARHAT | QING DYNASTY, 19TH CENTURY | 清 核桃雕十八羅漢把件 each carved on rounded chestnut shell in relief with figures of Buddhist monk, incised with detailed face and robes, one with pagoda and another accompanied by tiger (Qty: 14) largest: 4cm diameter | £200 - £300 + feesLOT 11 | GROUP OF FOURTEEN CHESTNUT CARVINGS OF ARHAT | QING DYNASTY, 19TH CENTURY | 清 核桃雕十八羅漢把件
each carved on rounded chestnut shell in relief with figures of Buddhist monk, incised with detailed face and robes, one with pagoda and another accompanied by tiger
(Qty: 14) largest: 4cm diameter | £200 - £300 + fees

 

View Lot 11 ⇒

 


 

Lot 153 | Blue and White and Underglaze Red 'Eighteen Arhats' Censer 

 

LOT 153 | BLUE AND WHITE AND UNDERGLAZE RED 'EIGHTEEN ARHATS' CENSER | KANGXI MARK | 康熙款 青花釉裏紅十八羅漢紋香爐 the bulbous body rising from an everted foot to a flared rim, painted with the Eighteen Arhats on land, sea, and sky, partly decorated with underglaze red, the base inscribed with a six-character Kangxi mark in underglaze blue (Qty: 1) 21.5cm diameter | £300 - £500 + fees

LOT 153 | BLUE AND WHITE AND UNDERGLAZE RED 'EIGHTEEN ARHATS' CENSER | KANGXI MARK | 康熙款 青花釉裏紅十八羅漢紋香爐
the bulbous body rising from an everted foot to a flared rim, painted with the Eighteen Arhats on land, sea, and sky, partly decorated with underglaze red, the base inscribed with a six-character Kangxi mark in underglaze blue
(Qty: 1) 21.5cm diameter | £300 - £500 + fees

 

View Lot 153 ⇒

 


 

Lot 313 | Two Satsuma Wares

LOT 313 | TWO SATSUMA WARES

LOT 313 | TWO SATSUMA WARES | MEIJI PERIOD | 明治 保土田款 薩摩燒人物紋碗及鶴紋盤(兩件)
comprising: a notched-rim plate, enamelled and gilded with cranes in a bamboo groove with flowering peonies; together with a lobbed deep bowl, decorated to the interior and exterior with figures, the base signed 'Hododa'
(Qty: 2) largest: 24.5cm wide | £200 - £300 + fees

 

View Lot 313 ⇒

 


 

Lot 10 | Wooden Sculpture of Water-and-Moon Guanyin

LOT 10 | WOODEN SCULPTURE OF WATER-AND-MOON GUANYIN | QING DYNASTY, 17TH CENTURY | 清 木雕水月觀音坐像 carved seated in lalitasana or royal ease pose, the right arm resting on the knee, the left hand half raised in front of the chest, wearing layers of robes naturally draped downwards, finely incised hair arranged in a high chignon and covered by a cowl, her benign face finely carved with downcast eyes, finely closed lips and elongated ears, with remnant of red and black pigments (Qty: 1) 24.5cm high | £600 - £800 + fees

LOT 10 | WOODEN SCULPTURE OF WATER-AND-MOON GUANYIN | QING DYNASTY, 17TH CENTURY | 清 木雕水月觀音坐像
carved seated in lalitasana or royal ease pose, the right arm resting on the knee, the left hand half raised in front of the chest, wearing layers of robes naturally draped downwards, finely incised hair arranged in a high chignon and covered by a cowl, her benign face finely carved with downcast eyes, finely closed lips and elongated ears, with remnant of red and black pigments
(Qty: 1) 24.5cm high | £600 - £800 + fees

 

View Lot 10 ⇒

 


 

Lot 28 | Gilt Cast-Iron Figure of an Arhat

GILT CAST-IRON FIGURE OF AN ARHAT

LOT 28 | GILT CAST-IRON FIGURE OF AN ARHAT | 鎏金鐵羅漢立像
standing on a single lotus throne, the monk wears a rosette-decorated kasaya and both hands in the yi greeting gesture, flesh parts gilded
(Qty: 1) 25.5cm high | £200 - £300 + fees

 

View Lot 28 ⇒

 


 

Lot 81 | Tang Style White Marble Torso of a Bodhisattva

Lot 81 | TANG STYLE WHITE MARBLE TORSO OF A BODHISATTVA | 唐式白大理石雕菩薩像 the bodhisattva carved wearing a beaded and foliate necklace, his face depicted in minute details with serene expression, his head wearing a jewelled crown, mounted on a metal base (Qty: 1) 23cm high | £300 - £500 + feesLOT 81 | TANG STYLE WHITE MARBLE TORSO OF A BODHISATTVA | 唐式白大理石雕菩薩像
the bodhisattva carved wearing a beaded and foliate necklace, his face depicted in minute details with serene expression, his head wearing a jewelled crown, mounted on a metal base
(Qty: 1) 23cm high | £300 - £500 + fees

 

View Lot 81 ⇒

 


 

Lot 260 | Pair of Famille Rose Buddhist Temple Stands PAIR OF FAMILLE ROSE BUDDHIST TEMPLE STANDS

LOT 260 | PAIR OF FAMILLE ROSE BUDDHIST TEMPLE STANDS | QING DYNASTY, 19TH CENTURY | 清 黃地粉彩祭祀裝飾(一組兩件)
each supported on a domed base, the central flat shaft in openwork and painted with layers of leaves, topped with a blossoming flower, all supporting a roundle respectively containing a canopy and a conch, the base enamelled in turquoise and inscribed with a six-character Qianlong mark in iron-red
(Qty: 2) 41cm high each | £5,000 - £7,000 + fees

 

View Lot 260 ⇒

 


 

Lot 323 | Painting of Xuanzang

LOT 323 | PAINTING OF XUANZANG | 玄奘三藏圖 鏡框 紙本設色 colour on paper, depicting the renowned monk in Tang Dynasty bearing Buddhist sutras crated in bamboo, painted in the manner with an anonymous painting of Xuanzang. Japan, Kamakura Period (14th century), now in the collection of Tokyo National Museum (Qty: 1) 35.5cm x 15.5cm | £200 - £300 + fees

LOT 323 | PAINTING OF XUANZANG | 玄奘三藏圖 鏡框 紙本設色
colour on paper, depicting the renowned monk in Tang Dynasty bearing Buddhist sutras crated in bamboo, painted in the manner with an anonymous painting of Xuanzang. Japan, Kamakura Period (14th century), now in the collection of Tokyo National Museum
(Qty: 1) 35.5cm x 15.5cm | £200 - £300 + fees

 

View Lot 323 ⇒

 


 

Auction Information

 

ASIAN WORKS OF ART

Thursday 3rd Jun 2021 10:00

Live Online

 

View the full auction catalogue ⇒



Individual lots available to view by appointment in Edinburgh, 27 May - 02 June. Contact asianart@lyonandturnbull.com to book.

 

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