Lot 3109
  • 3109

A SILVER AND COPPER-INLAID BRONZE FIGURE OF KALA JAMBHALA TIBET, 13TH – 14TH CENTURY

Estimate
300,000 - 500,000 HKD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Gilt-bronze with copper nad silver inlay
  • 13.2 cm, 5 1/8  in.
standing in alidhasana on a prostrate figure of Yellow Jambhala, the supine figure disgorging jewels from his mouth and propping up Kala Jambhala's leg with the left hand, all supported on a lotus throne with a beaded edge, Kala Jambhala with the right elbow bent and holding a kapala in his right hand, the left hand placed on the hip and grasping a jewel-spewing mongoose, further adorned with snakes draped over the body, inlaid with circular copper-red eyes and silver teeth and fangs, all below an elaborate top-knot and a small figure of Amoghasiddhi resting atop the jatamukata, the reverse of the head with traces of pigment

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 68423

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.
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, fig. 21.
Franco Ricca, Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell' Himalaya, Turin, 2004, fig. 34.

Catalogue Note

In many of the early Tibetan bronze figures from the Nyingjei Lam Collection, we find the commanding legacy of Pala sculpture in multiple aspects including the elegance of form, the use of silver and copper inlay, and the stepped lotus platforms, all of which can be found in the current work.

Jambhala, Lord of Wealth and Abundance, is recognisable in his terrifying form of Kala Jambhala by his distinctive iconography, and is often portrayed as a fierce, ithyphallic figure. In the present lot, Kala Jambhala is depicted as a dwarf with thick, squat limbs; he is garlanded with snakes and his hair tied in an elaborate top-knot; a small figure of Amoghasiddhi rests atop the jatamukata; he holds a kapala in his right hand; and he stands in alidhasana atop a prostrate figure of Yellow Jambhala, who disgorges a shower of jewels from his mouth and whose left hand gently props up the heavy right thigh of his oppressor. It is possible that the usual raised arm of Yellow Jambhala may serve a dual purpose as a structural convention to reinforce the sculpture.

Compare the copper inlay; the sash and raised arm of Yellow Jambhala used as a support; and the wide, downturned single row of lotus petals on the base surmounted by a single row of beaded pearls with another thirteenth/fourteenth century ungilt bronze figure of Kala Jambhala also from the Nyingjei Lam Collection, see lot 3111.

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