Lot 3117
  • 3117

A COPPER AND SILVER-INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF VAJRASATTVA TIBET, 12TH – 13TH CENTURY

Estimate
200,000 - 300,000 HKD
bidding is closed

Description

  • bronze
seated in vajraparyankasana on a double-lotus base, the right hand raised in holding an upright vajra, the lowered left hand holding a ghanta at the waist, wearing a dhoti fastened at the waist with a beaded girdle and adorned with elaborate jewellery, the face with a silver urna and benevolent expression, below a silver-inlaid figure of Amitabha Buddha resting on the headdress, two addorsed elephants incised at the reverse

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 68317

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.

Catalogue Note

Sensitively modelled with gentle face and slender torso, the bronze lustrously patinated and heightened with copper inlay to the glorious, large crown and silver inlay to the urna, eyes and Amitabha figure, Vajrasattva gazes directly at the viewer with meditative equipoise.

The extant crown sash and delicate rosettes above the ears bear traces of polychromy and cold gold remnants fleck the neck and ears, as this elegant figure would have been painted and given a layer of gilding to the face sometime after its creation. The dhoti and upper shawl are incised with a scrolling geometric motif which mirrors the scrolling design of the tall headdress. Evidence of a lug at the reverse of the bronze, between the addorsed elephants, suggests that this delightful figure may have originally had a larger repoussé mandorla

The large and commanding crown of Vajrasattva, the height of which is larger than the head, and which wraps around the head completely obscuring the jatamukata within, has precedents in late Licchavi bronze sculpture, see a bronze figure of Avalokiteshvara in Ulrich von Schroder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, pp. 312-313, cat. no. 78E. 

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