The 16in (40cm) high decorated porcelain figure is believed to date from the Qianlong/Jiaqing period (c.1736-1820) and it will be offered at Grand Auctions on May 8.
The auctioneers have estimated the figure at £7000-10,000 and said it was an unusual work to see outside of the major salerooms.
The statue was previously part of the collection of the late Lieutenant Colonel J.E. Armstrong, a member of a cavalry regiment which was sent to India in 1923, eventually becoming secretary to the Viceroy. He finally returned to Britain in 1947 and the Buddha later passed by family descent to the vendor at the Folkestone sale.
The porcelain figure has a robin’s egg glaze and gilding with the Buddha's hands placed in ‘dhyana mudra’ pose and holding a spherical gilt pearl and is seated on an octagonal plinth modelled as swirling clouds incorporating gilt dragons heads emerging in pursuit of a central flaming pearl.
Jonathan Riley of Grand Auctions told ATG: “Very few similar examples of this kind exist, and when rarely auctioned, they typically appear at major auction houses, notably in both Christie’s and Sotheby’s sales.” One example of a similarly represented Buddha was sold at Sotheby’s in New York in September 2011 for $25,000 against a $15,000-25,000 estimate.