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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 78, Lot: 2273. Estimate $1500. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2008. 
Sold For $1300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CENTRAL and EAST ASIAN. Gandhara. Schist Relief Panel: The Great Departure of the Buddha. 2nd-3rd centuries AD. Schist relief panel, once part of a longer frieze, depicting Prince Siddhartha advancing left on his horse Kanthaka, who is supported by yakshas; Mara(?) standing facing to left, holding bow. Dimensions: 11.6cm x 4.6cm x 13.5cm. Extremely fine, with nice detail.

At age 29 Siddhartha Gautama (the future Buddha) left a life of luxury in his father’s palace to begin his quest for enlightenment. To facilitate his escape, spirits (yakshas) supported Siddhartha’s horse so that the sound of its hooves hitting the ground would not alert the palace guards. Depictions of this event, referred to as ‘the Great Departure’, appear often in Gandharan art, which married Central Asian and Classical artistic traditions.