Exceptional Dineley Collection of Buddhist Art offered at Bonhams

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Exceptional Dineley Collection of Buddhist Art offered at Bonhams
17th century rare gilt copper-alloy group of Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali (detail). Estimate: HK$2,500,000 – 3,500,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- This November, Bonhams will present the exceptional Mark and Peter Dineley Collections of Chinese, Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist Art. Fresh to the market, the works are to be offered across a series of sales in London Knightsbridge, London New Bond Street, and Hong Kong.

This remarkable and diverse collection comprises more than 40 gilt-bronze Buddhist figures and ritual and ceremonial objects, spanning from the 16th to the 19th century. The highlight is an exceptional 17th century rare gilt copper-alloy group of Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali, estimate HK$2,500,000 – 3,500,000, to be offered in the Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale on 26 November in Hong Kong.

The powerfully cast figure of Vajrabhairava with his consort Vajravetali stands an impressive 49cm high, and is superbly cast in great detail. Vajrabhairava is one of the most formidable deities in the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon, and this artistically exceptional figure is likely to have been made by Newar artists in Tibet.

Other highlights of the collection include:

• A rare 17th/18th century Imperial gilt-bronze figure of Manjushri, estimate: HK$500,000 - 800,000. Superbly cast with a serene expression and a gentle sway of the torso, which complements the curves of the adornments conveying a sense of movement, the statue reflects the religious beliefs of the early Qing emperors as well as the political importance of Tibetan Buddhism during this period. (Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale, 26 November 2019, Hong Kong).

• A very large gilt bronze model of a dragon, 18th/19th century (103cm high), standing on two flaming pearls of wisdom grasped by each of its two five-clawed feet, estimate: GBP £ 8,000 - 12,000. The dragon is related to a pair of dragons in the Château de Fontainbleau which were taken from the Yuanmingyuan in 1860. (Fine Chinese Art, 7 November 2019, New Bond Street, London)

According to Dineley family history, much of the Chinese, Tibetan and Nepalese art was originally collected in the late 19th/early 20th century by the American lumber baron Henry Harrison Getty, and was later in the collections of the 1st and 2nd Viscounts Tredegar.

Mark Dineley and his son Peter owned and ran Bapty & Co., a firm specialising in supplying arms and armour to the film industry, contributing to films such as A Bridge Too Far, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Stanley Kubrick’s film Barry Lyndon, which won an Oscar in 1975, and Saving Private Ryan.

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