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HomeNewsWestern Australian bronze Buddha is from China's Ming Dynasty and could sell...

Western Australian bronze Buddha is from China’s Ming Dynasty and could sell for $100,000 at auction

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A small bronze Buddha statue found in Western Australia is being auctioned for $100,000 after experts confirm the Chinese relic is some 600 years old.

Asian art expert Lee Young, owner and director of the UK’s Dore and Reese auction house, examined the young Buddha on a recent episode of the UK’s Antiques Roadshow TV show.

Mr. Young discovered the small figurine from China’s 15th-century Ming Dynasty, making it a rare “world treasure.”

The finders, filmmakers Shayne Thompson and Leon Deschamps from Shark Bay on Australia’s northwest coast, will auction the relic with a reserve price of $100,000.

“Every once in a while an item comes our way with an amazing story that almost makes it a world treasure,” Mr. Young told co-founder Deschamps.

Experts have confirmed that a baby Buddha statue found in Western Australia is from China’s 15th-century Ming dynasty (pictured)

“Let’s clear this up right away. Yes, it’s Ming… and yes, it’s the young Buddha.”

“There is an example of one of the baby Buddhas in the Imperial Collection, the Palace Collection… this would (have belonged to) someone of some stature.”

Mr. Young explained that with no historical significance, the piece would fetch a pre-sale price of up to $9,000.

However, the value jumps drastically to $175.00 when linked to the 15th century Chinese dynasty.

“We collectors are all history hunters. And I see people getting kind of bragged about this,” Mr. Young said.

‘Even if it raised £100,000 ($175,000) I wouldn’t be too surprised. Because there’s only one of them with that story.

“I mean… I’m actually honored to have been as close to this as I… it’s making history.”

Deschamps and Thompson discovered the statue in 2018 in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia while filming a documentary in which they follow in the footsteps of early 1800s French explorers.

The pair, who run Finn Films together, were looking for objects left behind on a Napoleonic era trip when their metal detector pinged.

They gradually dug up the bronzed buttocks of the Buddha and carefully removed the relic – which weighs 1 kg despite its small size – from the red sand.

Asian art expert Lee Young examined the relic - which weighs 1kg despite its diminutive size - in an episode of the UK's Antiques Roadshow and labeled it

Asian art expert Lee Young examined the relic – which weighs 1kg despite its diminutive size – in an episode of the UK’s Antiques Roadshow and labeled it “a world treasure” (pictured)

Deschamps and Thompson believe the image is evidence that Chinese fleets arrived in Australia earlier than previously thought.

It is said that the Buddha was left behind by the Ming treasure voyage in 1421, in the fleet of Admiral Zheng He – a Chinese explorer who made several epic voyages in the 15th century.

If confirmed, the Buddha’s origins suggest that the Chinese visited the region nearly 200 years before European traveler Dutchman Dirk Hartog landed in 1616.

Deschamps and Thompson told it The age more than $50,000 was spent determining the image’s origins, with the pair conducting lab research and traveling to interview scientists and academics.

“In the past four years, it has cost us a great deal of personal capital and time to properly research and protect the Buddha,” they said.

“The Buddha is currently located offshore in an expensive, high-security private commercial site. We want it to find a home with a culturally appropriate owner who will hopefully put the Buddha on public display in Australia or China.

“Had we not continued our self-funded research, this discovery would never have been confirmed as a priceless antiquity and an incredible and proud part of the shared regional history of Australia and China.”

Retired WA Museum fellow and corrosion expert Dr Ian McLeod said he believed the statue had been buried for more than 100 years.

Using a metal detector, Western Australian filmmakers Shayne Thompson and Leon Deschamps excavated the Buddha and dug up the bronzed buttocks of the Buddha and carefully removed the relic, which weighs 1kg despite its small size, from the red sand.  (photo)

Western Australian filmmakers Shayne Thompson and Leon Deschamps discovered the Buddha using a metal detector and carefully extracted it from the red sand (pictured)

Thompson and Deschamps (pictured), who jointly run FINN Films, will auction the relic with a reserve price of $100,000.  The pair believe the statue is of historical importance, suggesting that Chinese fleets arrived in Australia nearly 200 years before European travelers

Thompson and Deschamps (pictured), who jointly run FINN Films, will auction the relic with a reserve price of $100,000. The pair believe the statue is of historical importance, suggesting that Chinese fleets arrived in Australia nearly 200 years before European travelers

After testing the corrosion found on the statue, Mr McLeod said the statuette had been in its exact location for decades and had not been ‘planted’.

“It can be reasonably estimated that the object has been in that environment for decades,” McLeod said.

“That is, it was not planted on the site in an attempt to trick metal detector operators into believing they have found an ancient object.”

Since its discovery, the site where the Buddha was excavated has not been further disturbed and is guarded.

The pair hope to find the Buddha’s missing index fingers and would like to be involved in providing replicas, research catalogs and funding for future museum exhibits and archaeological digs.

Jackyhttps://whatsnew2day.com/
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