Lot 3107
  • 3107

A SILVER, COPPER AND HARDSTONE-INLAID BRONZE FIGURE OF A BUDDHIST HIERARCH TIBET, 13TH – 14TH CENTURY

Estimate
800,000 - 1,200,000 HKD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Bronze with silver, copper and semi-precious stone inlay
  • 16.3 cm, 6 3/8  in.
seated in vajraparyankasana on a lotus pedestal with a beaded edge, the right hand held in bhumisparshamudra and the left in dhyanamudra at the lap, cloaked in voluminous inner and outer robes falling into neat folds, the collar and hem inlaid with silver and copper, the face with a benevolent expression accentuated with silver eyes and copper lips, all supported on a throne ornamented with addorsed lions and inlaid with semi-precious stones

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 68485

Exhibited

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1996-2005, on loan.
The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, October-December 1999.
Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell' Himalaya, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, June-September 2004.
Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2005-2017, on loan.
Stable as a Mountain: Gurus in Himalayan Art, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2009.
Casting the Divine: Sculptures of the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2012-2013.

Literature

David Weldon and Jane Casey Singer, The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, London, 1999, pl. 36.
Casting the Divine: Sculptures of the Nyingjei Lam Collection
, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2012-2013, cat. no. 67.

Catalogue Note

This fine portrait of an unidentified Buddhist hierarch presents a gracefully executed homage. Per the tradition of Tibetan portraiture, the quirks and personal characteristics of the lama are strongly defined: the short crop of hair, the wideset eyes, the pendulous earlobes, the fine lines around the mouth, and the slender physique. His countenance is elegantly heightened with bright silver inlay to the eyes, the inner robe and the beaded hem of the outer robe, and with copper inlay at the lips, fingernails, the incised hem of the outer robe, and on the lower throne elements. 

For another example of an ovoid lotus pedestal atop a stepped throne, further inlaid with semi-precious stones and adorned with addorsed lions, compare the current work with a thirteenth century sculpture depicting a Buddhist hierarch in the Cleveland Museum collection, see Jane Casey Singer, et al., The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, London, 1999, p. 35, fig. 51. The presence of semi-precious stone inlay in both the present work and the Cleveland hierarch demonstrate the use of stone inlay in early Tibetan bronzes

Compare also the throne architecture to additional thirteenth/fourteenth century Tibetan bronze figures depicting Vajrasattva and Chanda Vajrapani from the Nyingjei Lam Collection, ibid., p. 60, fig. 24 and p. 98, pl. 16; as well as a fourteenth century figure of a Pagdru Kagyu lama, see Donald Dinwiddie, ed., Portraits of the Masters: Bronze Sculptures of the Tibetan Buddhist Lineages, Chicago, 2003, p. 186, cat. no. 42.  

Close