Chinese Gilt Bronze Bodhisattva, ca. 1650
Well, it's an Asian figure that was my grandmother's. She acquired it probably sometime in the late 1800s, early 1900s. It was given to her by a beau who traveled to Asia extensively and brought her back many objects, and this was one of them. And she displayed it prominently in her home, and then when she passed, my mother had it, and it was prominently displayed in her home, and now I have it. I'm assuming it's brass, but I don't know what it represents. I really know very little about it.
Well, this is a Chinese gilt-bronze Buddha. And the gilding's in wonderful condition. It's not been rubbed or worn. These can be somewhat confusing. Often, patinated bronze figures that have been highly polished resemble this glowing, illuminating tone. So at times, one can misidentify a gilt-bronze as one that's been overly cleaned or polished. But the gilding's in very good condition. This is from a school of 33 multi-armed deities. And these represent the bodhisattva of compassion. The plethora, or multitude of arms, originate in Indian Buddhism, but were incorporated by the Chinese. At times, these Buddhas are referred to as the thousand-armed Buddhas. And the multitude of arms are to represent the many ways that this Buddha of compassion will direct, assist, and attempt to guide humanity towards enlightenment. This is from the 17th century.
Circa 1650. It's in wonderful condition for a bronze from the 17th century. We are missing a few attributes. You're usually missing a few fingers. They usually exhibit some wear. This is a deity, so this would have been raised on a lotus base, likely a double lotus base. So it's fit securely into the base. More than 50% of these multi-armed bodhisattvas that are sold in the marketplace are missing the lotus base. The lotus base does add a lot of value for that reason. This is a wonderful object, wonderful casting. The quality is wonderful. The eyes are strong. The nose is strong. The polychrome to the mouth is still present. There are red lips. The quality of the hands... When you look at a bronze, Chinese bronze, the hands tell you a great deal. So this is a very, very good bronze. The work to the jeweled chest, these are jewels to a chest, and this is wonderful lotus banding to the robe. Very good quality. I'll turn the bronze around, and we'll see the back. There is a corrosive pigment, because there's discoloration in the recesses. Someone may have cleaned it at some point. You also see cleaning solution and/or corrosive pigment to the front. And you should have that cleaned and stabilized. Speaking to value in a retail setting, this would be $40,000.
Wow. I had no idea. Absolutely no idea. That is fabulous.
If this did have the original double lotus base, it would probably have a value of about $150,000.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.