The Claude de Marteau Collection series achieves more than US$15.6 million at Bonhams
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The Claude de Marteau Collection series achieves more than US$15.6 million at Bonhams
A Gilt Copper Alloy Figure of Manjushri, Ming Dynasty, Yongle Mark and Period (1402-24). Sold for HK$8,894,000. Photo: Bonhams.



HONG KONG.- Bonhams sale of Claude de Marteau Collection – The Final Journey concluded today (6 October 2023) in Hong Kong and marked the finale of the four-part auction. A Gilt Copper Alloy Figure of Manjushri came out on top and achieved HK$8,894,000, surpassing its high estimate and is the highest-selling lot of the entire collection. Sold over four sales across Paris and Hong Kong, the spectacular Claude de Marteau Collection has realised more than US$15.6 million in total. It is one of the world’s important private collections dedicated to Hindu and Buddhist cultures in the ancient regions of India, Nepal, Tibet and China.

Edward Wilkinson, Bonhams Global Head of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art, said: “We are delighted that the final sale of the spectacular Claude de Marteau Collection ended on such a high note today. Every bid is a tribute to the late collector’s discerning eye and taste. Once again, Bonhams is honoured to be entrusted with the collection, the rarity and exceptional quality of each was recognised by collectors from all over the world.”

Notable results of the 6 October sale include:

• A Gilt Copper Alloy Figure of White Mahakala, Tibet, 15th Century (imaged left). Sold for HK$1,528,000, exceeding high estimate of HK$1,000,000-1,500,000.

• A Grey Schist Relief Panel of the Buddha's Parinirvana (imaged centre). Sold for HK$1,274,000, nearly 16 times the estimate (HK$80,000-120,000),

• A Gilt Copper Alloy Figure of Amitayus (imaged right). Sold for HK$956,500, exceeding high estimate. (Estimate: HK$600,000-800,000).

Other notable results of the Collection include a 15th/16th century Tibetan gilt copper alloy figure of the 9th century Buddhist master Virupa sold on 12 June at Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr. It was sold for €952,900, more than six times the estimate of €150,000-200,000.

The Claude de Marteau Collection

The spectacular collection, which has an estimated value in excess of €10million, is a unique assemblage of art gathered over decades by the late dealer and collector, Claude de Marteau. Much of its museum-grade content spanning 260 consummate treasures has never been seen in public, chronicling a period of 1,500 years in the Hindu and Buddhist cultures that once flourished in the ancient regions of India, Nepal, Tibet and China.

As a young man, Claude de Marteau stumbled upon the art that was to be his lifelong passion while he was on an extended trip through Afghanistan, over the Hindu Kush to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Entirely self-taught, he became a respected dealer and an eminent authority on Tibetan, Nepalese, Indian and Southeast Asia art. He was renowned for his ‘great eye and intrinsic aesthetic sensibility’, in the words of his friend, the museum curator and scholar of southeast Asian and Himalayan art and culture, Dr. Pratapaditya Pal.

Pieces sourced by Claude de Marteau can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York – including a Buddha image of the Gupta period in India from Sarnath – Cleveland Museum of Art and the Asian Art Museum.










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