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17th century bodhisattva finishes at $60K, five times its estimate

Finishing at five times its high estimate, a carved wooden figure of a bodhisattva in the lotus position dating to 17th century China, rose to $60,000 to lead all lots in A.B. Levy's recent Jewelry, Art, Antiques & Asian Works of Art Auction.
Lotus seated bodhisattva

17th century Chinese carved wood bodhisattva, measuring 24 1/2 inches, sold for $60,000 during the Oct. 30, 2017 auction. (Photo courtesy A.B. Levy's)

PALM BEACH, Fla. – A 17th century Chinese bodhisattva sailed well past its pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$12,000 to sell for $60,000. The polychrome-decorated, carved wood figure came before bidders Oct. 30 during A.B. Levy’s Jewelry, Art, Antiques & Asian Works of Art Auction. 

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a bodhisattva is: A being that compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to save others and is worshipped as a deity in Mahayana Buddhism

“Walking into the Palm Beach home of the person who owned it, I was instantly fascinated with the carved bodhisattva figure and looked forward to the opportunity of bringing it to auction,” said Albert Levy of A.B. Levy’s. “Needless to say, I was thrilled with the final sale price. It was a case of savvy bidders doing their homework and sensing the estimate was too conservative.”

Building on Bidding Momentum Surrounding Bodhisattva

In addition, the 24 ½ inch tall, carved wood figure depicts the bodhisattva resting in the lotus position. It appears on a lotus petal carved base, with traces of the original decoration and gilding. It was the top earner in a 300-lot auction that featured property from Palm Beach estates and was packed with jewelry, fine art, sculpture, Tiffany, modern art, art glass, Sevres, Chinese jade and porcelain and more.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. Internet bidding was facilitated by All prices quoted include a 20 percent buyer’s premium. Overall, the auction grossed $750,000.

An elegant and highly detailed oil on canvas figural rendering by the French painter Charles J. F. Soulacroix (1825-1879), titled Enchantee, also gaveled for $60,000. The 39 ½ inch by 46 ½ inch work (framed) brilliantly captured Soulacroix’s fascination with Parisian high society, depicting the upper class at leisure, dressed in lavish silks and satins, creating an image of social serenity.

Furthermore, artworks in the auction included an oil painting by Italian artist Nicola Simbari (1927-2012), titled Near Amalfi, signed and dated (“’65”) and measuring 38 ¾ inches by 48 ¾ inches in the frame ($5,700); and an oil on panel work by Bernard Lamotte (Fr./Am., 1903-1983), titled Vacauses, signed lower right and measuring 32 ¾ inches by 23 ¼ inches, framed ($1,680).

Hermes Represents in Luxury

A Hermes shiny red alligator Sellier Kelly women’s handbag having gold tone hardware, with keys,

Hemes red alligator handbag

Hermes shiny red alligator Sellier Kelly handbag, sold for $21,600.

clochette and Hermes dust bag was one of several Hermes bags in the sale and hit $21,600. Also, a large pair of Lalique clear and frosted crystal sconces, titled Heliconia, 17 inches tall and made in France in the 20th century, lit up the room and went to a determined bidder for $3,120.

In addition, an exceptional pair of cased French dueling pistols from around 1840, manufactured by the famous gunsmith Le Faucheux of Paris, with each gun having a 10 ½ inch octagonal barrel and featuring beautifully engraved locks, trigger guards and butt caps, hit the mark for $32,400. All the accessories were original, and everything was contained in a beautiful signed mahogany case.

In the estate jewelry category, a platinum, sapphire and diamond ring, set with an oval sapphire weighing more than 5 carats, accompanied by an AGL report stating the sapphire was Burmese in origin, breezed to $26,400. Also, a platinum and diamond brooch with a lovely floral design and having diamonds weighing about 11.5 carats, with a gram weight of 15 dwts, realized $7,200.

In addition, an F.P. Journe 18kt yellow gold wristwatch with power reserve indication, circa January 2007, manual winding, with 18kt gold movement and 22 jewels, housed in an 18kt yellow gold case, knocked down for $14,400. Meanwhile, a yellow gold and diamond necklace set with 97 diamonds weighing approximately 3.46 carats and with a gram weight of 13.4 dwts, finished at $5,100.

Looking Ahead 

Rounding out just some of the auction’s top lots, a 20th century Dresden Volkstedt porcelain figural group modeled as two young couples in 18th century dress, playing a piano and a harp, 12 ½ inches tall, fetched $4,320. Also, a visually striking French Louis XV-style gilt bronze figural mantle clock made in the third quarter of the 19th century chimed on time for a robust $3,600.

In addition, A.B. Levy’s next auction will feature jewelry, silver, luxury watches, antiques and Oriental art. It takes place Thursday, December 14th, online and in the A.B. Levy’s showroom.A.B. Levy's is at 211 Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Fla. Merchandise in the sale will mostly come from prominent Palm Beach estates and collections.

A. B. Levy’s is actively accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece, an estate or an entire collection, call 561-835-9139, or email To learn more about A.B. Levy’s, visit