Monday, May 13, 2019

The ‘Gump’ Buddha Offered in Hong Kong on 29 May

The Medicine Buddha’s gilded surface represents his divinity radiating from within
If you’ve ever visited Gump’s department store in San Francisco — a venerable emporium that had traded in luxury goods since 1861 until its closure in 2018 — you might recognise the huge golden figure that towers above Chinese works of art specialist Ruben Lien in the above image. Carved from wood and covered with lacquer and gilt, the sculpture represents the Medicine Buddha. Shortly after its arrival in San Francisco it became the store’s emblem, replacing a Japanese bronze sculpture of the Buddha that the Gump family had given to San Francisco’s Japanese Tea Garden. [More]
A highly important and monumental imperial gilt-lacquered wood figure of the Medicine Buddha, Qing Dynasty, 18th century. The figure: 68 in (172.7 cm.) high; overall height including gilt-lacquered wood pedestal: 95 in (241.2 cm) high. Estimate: HK$30,000,000-50,000,000. Offered in Glories of Buddhist Arts on 29 May 2019 at Christie’s in Hong Kong