Lakshmi seller thrives on US collectors’ auctions



15th Century South Indian Bronze of Goddess Lakshmi – €110,000 (£92,440) at Lempertz.

Like many sought-after pieces, the 2-foot-4-inch (65 cm) figure of Goddess Lakshmi comes from the collection of German physician Ludwig Jansen, who began collecting art in the early 1970s. is particularly interested in sculptures from India and other parts of Southeast Asia.

The number of international bidders eager to participate showed that Jansen was a keen collector. Many times they have pushed the prices way beyond the guides.

The figure of Lakshmi, one of Hinduism’s main deities and wife of Vishnu, was expected to fetch €20,000 but fierce competition pushed the price up to €110,000 (£92,440) at auction of June 11.

It was cast in Tamil Nadu and showed the goddess, who was the symbol of prosperity, power, beauty and fertility, standing on a lotus flower with her right hand raised in the so-called lolahastapose, often found on characters in that region.

The 95 cm (3 ft 1 in) high stone stele of Parshvanatha, carved in the 9th or 10th century, most likely in the central Indian province of Madhya Pradesh (seen in GTA No 2546), also proved popular. With a hammer price of €42,000 (£35,295), it more than quadrupled the low estimate.

Laura J. Boyer