Gilt Bronze Sino-Tibetan Divinity
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:11)
GUEST: This was in my family as long as I can remember. My parents had it. We lived in Japan. And... I don't know anything about it. To be honest.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a whole family of bronzes that they refer to as Sino-Tibetan. They were made in China and they were also made in Tibet, for basically Tibetan Buddhism. And this was 18th century.
APPRAISER: Probably made during the Ch'ien-lung reign.
GUEST: My gosh.
APPRAISER: The Ch'ien-lung's 1735 to 1796.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh.
APPRAISER: And this is an image of Yamantaka. And the image is gilt bronze. And this is mercury gilt bronze. They've basically taken gold and mixed it with mercury and then fired it off, so only the gold remains on the surface. And then it's been burnished. And then originally the face would have been actually painted with powdered gold.
APPRAISER: So it would have been like much more, uh, kind of dull gold.
GUEST: So it's a good thing I don't clean it, huh?
APPRAISER: No, you shouldn't. Never. And the red that's on there, that was used in dedicating the image. In Tibetan Buddhism, they anoint images. They dress them with scarves.
GUEST: Right, right.
APPRAISER: Burn incense in front of them. That kind of thing. The construction, it's a number of pieces that are put together. That basically identifies the piece as being correct. This one just is an incredible casting. It's pretty much as intensely good on the back as it is on the front.
APPRAISER: Right. It's fascinating. And, you know, all of these faces that are on here, that flame headdress on there... Did you see the elephant skin on the back?
GUEST: Yes, it's...
GUEST: I-- I discover new things each time I look at it, actually. As a child, I didn't really pay much attention to it.
APPRAISER: Did you have any idea as to its value?
GUEST: I have no idea. Whatsoever.
APPRAISER: Conservatively, an auction estimate on this piece would be $6,000 to $8,000.
GUEST: Oh, my gosh. Oh, my.
GUEST: Oh, my.
APPRAISER: And these things have been really taking off, in terms of value. They've been going higher and higher and higher.
GUEST: Really? Awesome! Oh, my gosh, that's so awesome.
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