A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF A WORLDLY PROTECTOR MONGOLIA, 18TH CENTURY
80,000 - 120,000 HKD
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seated on a horned beast with both arms raised, wearing beaded jewels around the bare chest, adorned with a billowing scarf and diaphanous dhoti, the ferocious face heightened with three glaring eyes, below a five-skull crown and flaming hair, all supported on a platform of roiling blood; together with a mixed-metal ga'u box, Mongolia, 18th-19th century
This diminutive and powerful worldly protector is depicted astride a horned beast which gallops through a sea of roiling blood, denoted here with traces of extant red polychromy. His three eyes bulge and his mouth is agape baring his teeth. Fierce worldly protectors within the Tibetan Buddhist pantheon, such as the current work, are adapted from earlier Indian Buddhist traditions, and can be found through the Nikaya, Mahayana and Vajrayana schools. These are not enlightened beings, but most often subjugated spirits which have been bound by oath to variously uphold and protect the dharma in all its forms: the sangha or communties of practitioners; the land or particular monasteries; and the sacred teachings and specific religious texts.