Lot 3119
  • 3119

A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF A BEARDED SAKYA LAMA TIBET, 14TH – 15TH CENTURY

Estimate
150,000 - 200,000 HKD
Sold
200,000 HKD
bidding is closed

Description

  • bronze
seated in vajraparyankasana with the right hand in bhumisparshamudra and the left hand in dhyanamudra at the lap, all atop a double-lotus base with a beaded upper edge, the alert expression framed by short-cropped hair and a pointed beard, flanked by pierced pendulous earlobes, clad in upper and lower monastic robes detailed with finely beaded hems, the reverse and lower double-lotus base ungilded

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 68308

Exhibited

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2002-2005, on loan.
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

This unidentified Sakya lama sits alert with vivid gaze, the right hand calling the earth to witness in bhumisparshamudra. The lama's head is large and commanding, and almost equal in size to his short torso. His distinctive pointy beard, short crop of hair and pierced earlobes provide hints to an earlier period in his life as layman. He wears a wonderfully articulated dhonka or inner shirt heightened with a double-beaded hem, visible under the crenelated edge of his shemdap or skirt, as well as a long outer choggyu or robe further heightened with a double-beaded hem and fluted edge thrown over the left shoulder. 

The lama and upper throne element are richly fire-gilt, while the lower lotus petal base and reverse remain ungilded. The plump and full-bodied physical modelling, the short neck and wide eyes are highly emblematic of the ambient Newari aesthetic driving the ateliers of Central Tibet throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Compare the facial type, finely arched brows, and bodily proportion of the current work with a fourteenth century thangka depicting Virupaksha and Vaishravana from the Tamashige Tibet Collection, sold in our New York rooms, 19th March 2014, lot 90. 

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