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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 61, Lot: 2752. Estimate $3000. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 25 September 2002. 
Sold For $2650. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

GANDHARA . 2nd - 3rd century AD. Schist crouching winged figure of or 'atlas' (Height 33 cm; Width 24 cm). Squatting winged bearded and mustached figure facing to front, wearing a turban; his right hand holds his raised right knee, the left lowered by his foot. He is naked but for loincloth, has elongated ears and the urna between his eyebrows. The anatomy of the figure is well observed and rendered and the wing feathers are deeply cut. The back and under part of the base, is roughly chiseled. In an excellent state of preservation. ($3000)

Such figures are sometime identified as bird-demon garudas, but they are called atlantes because their pose resemble those of the Greco-Roman classical support figures, which are properly identified as Atlas when holding up the sky, and which must have inspired the poses of their eastern kin. In Gandhara also serve as supports, in reliefs or along the base of stupas.