Antique Buddha appraisal

Communicate directly with a qualified specialist and get a fair market valuation of your item, typically in 48 hours or less.
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Mearto Specialist:

David U.

Dr. David U. brings over a decade of experience with a distinguished specialization in Asian and African art history. With a background in art consultancy and art management in various international galleries, he is currently lecturing for a luxury house in addition to his work for Mearto. He has curated numerous exhibitions and produced symposia and publications throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. His extensive professional network, as well as his expertise, enhances his appraisals in the categories of: Asian art and antiques, African, Pre-Colombian and Aboriginal art, swords and antique firearms.

Buddhism and Ancient Buddha Art

Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world. This religion is based on the teachings and principles of Buddha. The status of Buddha is likened to a god; those who followed him highly revered him. Whether you are a Buddhist or not, collecting symbols and statues associated with the Buddhist religion is quite widespread. The Buddha statues become a symbol of peace, inner happiness, self-realization, and harmony. Therefore, these are more than just artistic pieces but also religious artifacts. The facial structure, the poses, and the position of the Buddha that are used for making sculptures or statues are critical in its overall symbolization. Whether you want to invest in them for decorative or religious purposes, it is important to know the value of these art pieces in the market. Each artwork is different. It takes a trained eye to be able to assess the difference in each. Buddha statues come in all price ranges, from souvenirs worth nothing to record-selling $14.3 million.

We do a lot of buddha appraisals - here are a few examples from our customers:

Bronze Thai Buddha, height is 26", base is 17" wide. $2000 to $3000

crafted in the style typical of Southeast Asian artistry. $600 to $1100.

Who Collects Ancient Buddha Art?

There are many avid collectors of Buddha sculptures, statues, and other art forms. Most are drawn by the religious component of these objects. However, there are also a few others who are interested in its rich history. Most Buddhist art pieces are over 2,000 years old; therefore, it provides a glimpse into the evolution of Buddha’s teachings over the years. The diversity of Buddhist deities has also resulted in providing several avenues for appreciation and study. Those who develop an interest in Buddha (no matter what type of art piece) are also the ones with an appreciation for iconography, ideology, and other universal themes.

The Value of Ancient Buddha Statues and buddha appraisal

The history of Buddhism started in India about 2,500 years ago. Therefore, its popularity extends far beyond those who practice this religion. Any artifacts or art forms associated with it are also held of high value. In 2016, a French auction house sold three Buddha sculptures from the 15th-century Ming dynasty for more than 6.2 million euros. Aside from the aesthetic and artistic appeal, the value of Buddha is also evaluated for its meaning and symbolism. Before you buy or sell one, it is important to know the meaning and value of a particular Buddha statue based on their gesture and image. There are different gestures, also known as mudra, that are depicted by antique Buddha sculptures or statues. These are as follows:

  • Dhyan or Meditation
  • Namaskara or Greetings
  • Abhaya or No Fear
  • Bhumisparsa or Calling on earth to witness the truth
  • Vitarka – Teaching
  • Karana – Banishing negativity
  • Varada – Compassion and sincerity

Buddha appraisal - What is the Quality?

Quality is an essential component when evaluating Buddhist art. There are a number of factors that determine quality for a Buddhist art. These factors could be anything from the stylistic modeling for the sculpture or statue, skill of the artist, and the rarity of the object. Sculptures come in many different styles, and some people prefer different styles, but quality is an essential factor when determining the value of the sculpture. So, what makes great quality? It is factors like rarity, material used, how skilled were the artist and stylistic modeling. People are buying Buddhist art since they exhibit skilled craftsmanship. The quality, as with any type of antique, can be a significant factor that would impact the price of an item.

Buddha appraisal - Does it have provenance?

An antique item that has a well-documented provenance is going to be valued higher than a similar work with no recorded history or provenance. A documented provenance can also verify the authenticity of the object. Hence, it will further support the object’s value and enable you to sell it for a price that reflects its actual market value. In addition, it is also important to understand the laws and protocols associated with the sales of ancient works. Buddhist arts are bound by international laws so you need to make sure that the item in your possession is not prohibited to be sold outside of its country of origin.

Buddha appraisal - How About the Overall Condition?

Condition is of key importance when collecting art. It has a direct impact on value and should therefore be considered when buying or selling art. Given that most Buddhist art pieces are antique, some might not be in top condition, realistically speaking. If you have an item that has been restored, it is important to consult a specialist to determine how much of the value of the work was preserved in the process.

Buddha appraisal - Authenticity and Signature

There are plenty of replicas of Buddha statues and sculptures out there. When these replicas are made, they are created with the help of published references. Therefore, the front and back of the statues or sculptures are copied but not all the details. An expert in antique Buddhist art can decipher the authentic art piece versus one that is a replica only. The design components from the original artwork also contain a signature from the artist. Therefore, a professional appraiser will look for any signature from the artist to determine its authenticity. In the absence of the signature, it will be difficult to guarantee the item’s value. However, the signature can cause an item’s value to significantly double, or triple depending on the other factors that are linked to its value. Which means... Always take good closeup photos of the back and at the bottom of the sculptures. The appraiser will look for inscriptions and other interesting marks that can tell the date of when it was created. High-quality images of the hands and feet are also important as these are very hard to model and therefore a good tell if the statue is a replica or genuine.

How to Value Ancient Buddha Statues and Sculptures and get a correct appraisal

Valuing antique items such as ancient Buddha statues and sculptures is always a challenge, even for expert appraisers. Several factors are taken into account to determine its market value. To begin with, the historical period from which the art piece has originated from, the style, and the culture have a direct impact on its valuation. As already mentioned above, the provenance and quality, along with any presence of a signature from the artist, can significantly increase the value of the antique piece. If there is any form of documentation associated with the art piece, they can be a significant addition to your effort to authenticate its value.

Appraisal for Buddha Art

There is a universal appeal and demand for Buddhist art. Therefore, it is not surprising to find collectors who are seeking them. If you own one and wish to make money off of it, it is important to determine the value of your antique piece. Mearto has experienced and professional appraisers who can help you with appraising these antique items or any types of antique Asian artworks. Make sure you provide proper documentation for the antique items to support the authenticity and rarity of the object. If you get a high valuation on your Buddhist sculpture, it is important to bring it into a local appraiser or an auction house so an exact value can be set.

What our customers say:

150,000+ satisfied customers

4.6/5 ★★★★★ rating

I received a response and information regarding my items in less than 48 hours, which I appreciated. The appraiser was very knowledgable.

Kristal Hicks Torpey

I highly recommend Mearto if you're curious of the value or background of any item in your home.
The appraisal I received from Mearto was detailed and thorough.

Austin Phillips

I received a quality appraisal in less than 48 hours. I also acquired a second opinion of an industry expert who concurred with Mearto's appraised value.  

Todd Roper

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