3126
3126

PROPERTY FROM AN EAST ASIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

A RARE SILVER AND COPPER-INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF KURUKULLA
EASTERN INDIA, PALA, 11TH – 12TH CENTURY
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 2,250,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
3126

PROPERTY FROM AN EAST ASIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

A RARE SILVER AND COPPER-INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF KURUKULLA
EASTERN INDIA, PALA, 11TH – 12TH CENTURY
Estimate
1,000,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 2,250,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Heart of Tantra – Buddhist Art Including Property from the Nyingjei Lam Collection

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Hong Kong

A RARE SILVER AND COPPER-INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF KURUKULLA
EASTERN INDIA, PALA, 11TH – 12TH CENTURY
the four-armed goddess dancing in pratyalidhasana on a supine figure within a flaming mandorla atop a double-lotus base with beaded edges, depicted with a ferocious expression with silver-inlaid teeth and three copper-inlaid eyes, holding a bow and arrow in the upper left hand, above the principal left and right hands holding a hook and an utpala lotus curling upwards, the voluptuous body further adorned with a garland, an ornamental crown, armbands and earrings

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 13437


17.6 cm, 6 7/8  in.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Sotheby's New York, 21st March 2002, lot 73.
Collection of Francisco Capelo.
Sotheby’s New York, 24th March 2010, lot 28.

Catalogue Note

Kurukulla is associated with the Hevajra tantra and may also be regarded as a form of the goddess Tara, personifying the compassionate love of the goddess. This superb Pala example is one of the very few recorded bronzes of the deity from eastern India. The tantra originated in India but while Hevajra is relatively commonly depicted, Kurukulla is not. In von Schroeder's survey of Indian sculpture in Tibetan monastery collections there were no examples found. One eleventh century, somewhat provincial example was found at Achutrajpur and is now in the Orissa State Museum, Nihar Ranjan Ray, Karl Khandalavala and Sadashiv Gorakshekar, Eastern Indian Bronzes, New Delhi, 1986, pl. 295. The present example is a classic Pala sculpture and would have been made in one of the great bronze casting centres in Bengal or Bihar. Copper and silver inlay, one of the hallmarks of the best metalworkers of the region, is used to enhance the drama of the statue. The gleaming eyes and shining teeth of the Kurukulla capture the attention, red copper denoting bloodshot eyes and white silver the teeth. The artist has consummately captured the movement, the energy and the poise of her ritual dance. The construction of the figure was well planned and securely made to ensure survival. The dancing figure is separately cast and attached by a thick tang at her back passing through the flaming arch and rivetted over, allowing the goddess to appear to be lightly poised on the very tips of her toes, where the weight is actually taken by the arch. The arch and pedestal are cast as one unit. Another Pala dancing female figure is similarly attached to a flaming arch, see Ulrich von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, Hong Kong, 2001, vol I, pl. 94A.

The Heart of Tantra – Buddhist Art Including Property from the Nyingjei Lam Collection

|
Hong Kong