Lot 712
  • 712


150,000 - 250,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Gilt-Bronze
  • Height: 8  1/4  inches (21 cm)
Himalayan Art Resources item no. 13053.


Philip Goldman Collection, London.
Sotheby's New York, 21st March 2002, lot 108.

Catalogue Note

The current work depicts an unusual form of a male yidam or meditational deity. The yidam is seated in vajraparyankasana on a single lotus throne atop a tiered base. With three faces and a five-pointed crown, he wears a vajra-tipped round-domed helmet. He holds a sword in the tertiary left hand, a flaming jewel in the secondary left hand, and a bell in the primary left hand; and a lotus bud in the tertiary right hand, a vajra in the secondary right hand, and a dharmachakra in the primary right hand. Based on these iconographical elements and attributes, it is possible that this is a form of Akshobyavajra Guhyasamaja or one of his retinue figures. 

The yidam also wears elaborate jewelry inlaid with semi-precious stones, and the tantric adornments of the six bone ornaments, which represent the six paramitas or perfections. These textural bone ornaments appear in beaded rows, and also represent the Five Dhyani Buddhas: (1) the crown of the head, symbolizing dhyana or concentration and Buddha Akshobhya; (2) the earrings that symbolize kshanti or patience and the Buddha Amitabha; (3) the necklace that symbolizes dana or generosity and Buddha Ratnasambhava; (4) the armlets and anklets that symbolize shila or discipline and the Buddha Vairocana; (5) the girdle that symbolizes virya or exertion and Buddha Amoghasiddhi; and (6) the crisscrossed torso ornament that symbolizes prajña or wisdom and Buddha Vajradhara.

Compare the lotus petal design with a 14th Century Ushnishavijaya sculpture, see Helmut Uhlig, On the Path to Enlightenment: The Berti Aschmann Foundation of Tibetan Art at the Rietberg Museum, Zürich, 1995, p. 153, cat. no. 98.

Also compare the addorsed leogryph, vase and scrolling rhizome motifs of the tiered base to the base on a 15th Century gilt-bronze figure of Manjushri, see Olaf Czaja and Adriana Proser, Golden Visions of Densatil: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, New York, 2014, p. 139, cat. no. 32.