On March 19, Sotheby’s New York will hold its Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Works of Art sale featuring a selection of museum-quality works with impressive provenances.

The auction is led by the important and historic Tamashige Tibet Collection, which includes more than 45 examples of rare and important thangkas, sculptures and ritual objects, coming from the collection of one of the pioneering and preeminent Japanese collectors of Tibetan art, Yoshitomo Tamashige.

The auction and exhibition coincides with Asia Week New York (see related story here).

During the 1980’s, Tamashige devoted himself to the study of Tibetan art and Buddhist philosophy under the guidance of Japan’s leading Tibetologist, the late Dr. Kimiaki Tanaka.

This collection was first exhibited at Meditation Homeland in Toyama Prefecture in Japan in 2004 and published in a catalogue raisonne titled “Gems of Thangka Art.” Many of the works up for auction were also included in the 2005 exhibition, “The World of Mandala” at the Okura Museum of Art in Tokyo.

The collection is led by a very fine gilt copper alloy figure depicting Tara from the Yongle period (1403-1424) (est.:$300,000-$500,000) finished and guilded to perfection with the Yongle hallmark style of jewelry and lotus petals (see above).
Another highlight is a rare copper alloy figure depicting Bodhisattva Manhushri, the oldest and most significant bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhist literature (see photo below). It is cast in a lustrous copper alloy with silver inlay in the Kashmiri style (est. $350,000-$450,000).

The exhibition runs from Friday, March 14 through Tuesday, March 18. The auction will take place at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, March 19, 2014.

Photos Courtesy of Sotheby’s