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X-RARE Chinese Jade Statue of Buddha's Foot & Dragon King's Journey Immortality For Sale


X-RARE Chinese Jade Statue of Buddha's Foot & Dragon King's Journey Immortality


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X-RARE Chinese Jade Statue of Buddha's Foot & Dragon King's Journey Immortality:
$125000.00

ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS

Artifacts, Antiques, & Fine Collectibles



An Extremely Rare Chinese Jade Statue of Buddha’s Foot

Buddha’s Right Foot & Chinese Imperial Dragon

An Ancient Jade Fusion Masterpiece of Buddhist & Chinese Art

Inscribed & Painted Chinese Offering Characters with Translation

c. Han Dynasty/Warring States Period

206 BC—220 AD

“In the Presence of Buddha and Our Ancestors, the Soul of This Wise and Just Dragon Emperor,

Who Spreads Infinite Light like the Enlightened One, Bends His Head Forward and

Runs Faster and Faster Towards the Heavens (Tian) and Eternal Life.”

~ Expanded Translation by WDH, Ancient Civilizations



NOTE: William D. Houghton, the President of ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS, a State of Washington Licensed Business, assumes all responsibility for the information contained in this description and for the English translation and transcription of the ancient Chinese graphic characters. Furthermore, I prohibit the further dissemination of this information in any written, video, or electronic format without my expressed, written approval. Thank You!


SUMMARY

Item: Chinese Jade Statue of Buddha’s Foot & Dragon

Material: Once green nephrite jade has turned dark brown with orange highlights from the iron in the soil that has been absorbed into the jade. Contains pictograms & characters incised, painted, and percussively pecked into the jade statue.

Dynasty: Han Dynasty/Warring States Period, China

Est. Date: 206 BC—220 AD

Measurements:

Condition: This nephrite jade statue of Buddha’s foot is in particularly good, museum quality condition with no repairs or restorations. The once green jade has turned a wonderful shade of saddle-brown with orange highlights from the iron and manganese in the jade. This patina should never be removed, because the natural patina is one way to identify an authentic Han Dynasty jade. It has mild pitting and differential weathering that is consistent with an ancient Chinese jade statue that is about 2,000-years-old.



Provenance/History: This jade statue of Buddha's Foot was purchased from an old, private collection in China that was relocated to Hong Kong. This is the first time it has been for sale in the United States. This is the first time that the ancient, pictographic characters have been translated into English. If you are reading this, you will be some of the first persons in the world to read the translation in over 2,000 years. To date, this statue has not appeared in any publication--at least to my knowledge.

This jade statue was likely made during China’s Han Dynasty about 2,000-years-ago or perhaps a bit earlier during the Warring States Period (475—221 BC). Since Buddha lived in the 4th BC, this is an incredibly early representation of Buddhism.

My research suggest that currently the oldest known Buddha footprint, dating to 600 AD, is located at Sar Morakot, Thailand. Therefore, this jade statue may be one of the earliest known representation of Buddha in the World!

Buddha’s footprints, or in this case a statue of his foot, are meant to remind all that Buddha was present on Eearth and left a spiritual 'path' to be followed that led to Enlightenment and the cessation of all suffering. Buddha's footprints are usually depicted with the toes of all one length and with a dharmachakra (wheel) at the center. This statue has neither of these attributes, which again suggests that it is an incredibly early specimen.

In ancient China, the large, single-crested Dragon carved at the ankle represents an emperor/king, as they were revered as the Sons of Dragons and no one could use that image except them—as the punishment for such a transgression was death. The depiction of single-crested Dragons is also an ancient rendering, as by about 500 AD until present times, all Imperial Dragons were depicted with double crests.

NOTE: This object is unconditionally guaranteed authentic and will come with a COA from Ancient Civilizations. It has been legally imported to the United States., and is legal to purchase, sell, and own under U.S. Statute Title 19, Chapter 14, Code 2611, Convention on Cultural Property.

DETAILS


This unique, 3.65 lb. (1.66kg) jade statue of Buddha’s foot was likely made during China’s Han Dynasty about 2,000-years-ago or perhaps a bit earlier during the Warring States Period (475—221 BC). Since Buddha lived in the 4th BC, this is an incredibly early representation of Buddhism.

For the first 400 years after his death, Buddha was represented by symbols alone such as his footprint or the Wheel of Dharma. Formal statues of the "Enlightened One" were not made until the 1st century AD.

The previously untranslated inscription on this jade foot about 2,000-years-ago, was likely a central concept and meant not only to describe religious Enlightenment, but also to strive for ideas of right, good, and of one's duty toward mankind and the human community. Jade was thought to be eternal and was considered by these early Chinese practitioners of Buddha to be symbolic of him.

Located on the neck of the Imperial Dragon is a suspension or decoration hole that is classified as a “double-bevel hole” and is period correct in every way. The inside walls of the hole show the ancient growth of micro-crystalline jade crystals and thick mineral deposits of iron. Microscopic examination of the cut lines on the edges of the holes show it was drilled by hand, with a slow RPM drill.

The ancient Chinese found that Nephrite Jade could be worked by using quartz or garnet sand, polished with bamboo or jade dust, and even drilled with hollow, animal bone drills that used a slurry made of jade dust and water as the abrasive. The holes would be drilled from both sides, and one can still see the ridge in the center where the two holes intersected.

It is Exceedingly Rare to see the fusion in one jade statue that symbolizes the fusion of both Buddhism and the supreme power on Earth of a Chinese emperor, who was the Son of Dragons, as depicted on this statue with a single-crested Dragon head.

English Translation of Chinese Pictographs & Characters

We know that all written languages developed from primitive picture-writing. Others went the way of phonetic alphabets and nearly total abstraction. Chinese pursued a different course as its evolution was from pictograms to ideograms and phonograms. For example, the original character for a Dragon (Lung) was a simple, incised drawing of a Dragon, several of which are on this jade statue.

this jade offering was presented by the sons of the deceased at a temple ceremony to honor a departed Emperor/King. It is likely that the ceremony was held during a Rising Sun, as the largest character cut into the jade in low relief represents an man carrying a bright torch, symbolic of Buddha as the Enlightened One. Ritual ceremonies were also held during Setting Suns, but this amulet appears to have been presented to Buddha, the Enlightened One, and the Ancestors during a Rising Sun.

The previously unpublished and untranslated inscription on this jade foot of Buddha is about 2,000-years-ago, and was likely a central concept and meant not only to describe religious Enlightenment, but also refers to the actions of the deceased emperor to strive for the ideas of righteousness, goodness, and his duty toward mankind and the human community on Earth.

This statue contains one, very-large, Neolithic Chinese pictographic character in Oracle Bone Script that was carved in low relief and incorporated into the design of this statue.

I estimate that there are an additional 50+ tiny characters that document the offerings made by the Sons and Grandsons on behalf of their departed emperor father/grandfather. Some of these characters are as small as 2—4 mm, and were meant only for the eyes of the Ancestors.

Note: I assume all responsibility for the English translation and transcription of the ancient Chinese graphic characters. Furthermore, I prohibit the further dissemination of this information in any written, video, or electronic format without my expressed, written approval. Thank You!

“Yao”—The large, compound character on the instep of Buddha’s foot can literally be translated as: “A wise and just man whose Soul carries a reed torch and who bends his head forward as his Soul runs faster and faster towards the Heavens (Tian)—to eternal life. He carries a reed torch as bright as the Sun (“Ri” in Chinese); therefore, I believe this character represents Buddha, the Enlightened One.

The Han did not use oil or bee’s wax lamps—only reed torches. The souls of the dead were described as “Bright” or “Ming” in Chinese—a word that suggests the Bright Souls in tombs did not need the benefit of eternal light from a lamp. (Wieger, pg. 160)

So, by extension, the “soul of a man who spreads light” or the Enlightened One “who rises above other men and is seen by all as the flame rises above the lamp and shines out to all.” {Wilder, # 210}

Just above the man running with a torch, is a character that looks sort of like the letter “L.” This is normally the symbol of the footprint of the heel of an Ancestor’s foot that shows he is present for the ceremony and will accept the offerings that are presented to him. But because it is on top of Buddha’s foot with an Imperial Dragon head above it, I believe it refers to the Emperor’s desire to follow Buddha’s teaching to achieve Enlightenment.

Therefore, my expanded, literal translation of this precious, jade amulet that documents the soul of an Emperor as he begins his cyclic journey to eternal life in the Heavens is as follows:

“In the Presence of Buddha and Our Ancestors, the Soul of This Wise and Just Dragon Emperor,

Who Spreads Infinite Light like the Enlightened One, Bends His Head Forward and

Runs Faster and Faster Towards the Heavens (Tian) and Eternal Life.”

NOTE: There are also much smaller pictographic characters incised, pecked, and painted into all sides of this jade statue, and even some scratched into both sides of the Dragon’s center crest, under his neck, and even on the surface of his tear-drop shaped eyes! AMAZING!!

I estimate that there are approximately 50+ of these tiny characters. Some as small as 2—4 mm, were meant only for the eyes of the Ancestors and not meant for human eyes who were not considered worthy. The characters are extremely small and faint, especially the ones painted two millennia ago with black ink, but I can see and translate the characters for the following pictographs:

Dragons

Man

Sons

Grandsons

Ancestors diving from Heaven to accept the offerings.

Ancestor’s Footprint

A Man with his hand raised with a flint knife that has killed an animal for sacrifice.

Sacrificed Beasts

And approximately 40+ other pictographs and characters.

Jade was highly prized by these early civilizations in China, and it was thought to have positive energy to drive away evil spirits and bring good luck and fortune to all who wore a piece on their person--in life and in death. Jade was also believed to be a portal or messenger that could carry prayers to Heaven and send messages to those on Earth from departed ancestors and Gods in Heaven.

Jade was used not only to make ceremonial weapons and tools, but was also carved by some Neolithic peoples into ornaments and small animals. Discoveries in northeast China have demonstrated that peoples in Liaoning province, belonging to what is known today as the Hongshan culture (c. 3500 BC), carved animal figures and other ornaments from jade.

This ancient amulet is a unique work of art that is truly a museum quality piece of great historical significance to both the Chinese and Buddhists.


The Significance of Buddha footprints or the Buddhapada

Courtesy of Wikipedia

In early Buddhist art, the historical Buddha was rarely shown in human form—instead, his presence was conveyed by a blooming lotus, a pair of footprints, a spoked wheel, or a perched deer in stone relief. The reason? North Indian Buddhist communities feared that if they represented the Buddha as a man, people would start worshipping him like a god.

Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. An Indian religion, Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in Ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada (Pali: "The School of the Elders") and Mahayana (Sanskrit: "The Great Vehicle").

The footprint of Buddha is an auspicious Buddhist symbol, and is considered sacred in Hinyana Buddhism in India as well other Buddhist countries. It is still worshiped at Buddhist temples in Bodh Gaya and Nagarjuni Konda. The footprints are meant to remind all that Buddha was present on earth and left a spiritual 'path' to be followed.

Early Buddhism to Chinese thought during the Warring States period (ca. 450 BC–221 BC).

Chinese religious beliefs were in a nearly constant state of flux, if not turmoil, during the Warring States Period, which began shortly after the death of Confucius. Ideas related to the Early Buddhism attested in the fragments of Pyrrho and Megasthenes are clearly present in Warring States writings, especially Early Taoist texts, including the Laotzu, the Chuangtzu, as well as the anonymous Jade Yoga Inscription. Some of the Early Taoist material is approximately contemporaneous with Pyrrho and Megasthenes. It seems that this material's appearance in China is connected to the fact that Central Asia, including Bactria and Gandhāra, was part of the Achaemenid Persian Empire down to Alexander's invasion and conquest of the region in 330–325 BC.

Statues of the "Enlightened One" were not made until the 1st century CE; before that, Buddha was represented by aniconic symbols such as his footprint or the Dharma wheel. Like other Gandharan, or Greco-Buddhist art, the wheel shows influence from ancient Greek art, as the region had been part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom established by Alexander the Great.

References

NOTE: This is a stunning, historical Buddhist masterpiece of ancient Chinese jade carving and worthy of the finest collections. We prefer that this rare and extremely expensive artifact be a “pick-up” item, and suggest that the new buyer make arrangements for pick up and/or shipping at their own liability and expense.


Please examine the macro photos carefully as they are part of the description.

The ruler and AA battery and stand is not part of the sale, just included to give you a better perspective.

And please ask any questions before you buy.


International Buyers are responsible for all import duties, import taxes, shipping charges and insurance costs.

International Returns are NOT accepted.

Note: Please ask any questions you may have before you offer! Thanks for Looking!



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Images © photo12.com-Pierre-Jean Chalençon
A Traveling Exhibition from Russell Etling Company (c) 2011