3130
3130

PROPERTY FROM AN EAST ASIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

A LARGE GILT-COPPER AND SILVER STUPA INLAID WITH SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES
TIBET, 18TH – 19TH CENTURY
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 250,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
3130

PROPERTY FROM AN EAST ASIAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

A LARGE GILT-COPPER AND SILVER STUPA INLAID WITH SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES
TIBET, 18TH – 19TH CENTURY
Estimate
200,000300,000
LOT SOLD. 250,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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

|
Hong Kong

A LARGE GILT-COPPER AND SILVER STUPA INLAID WITH SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES
TIBET, 18TH – 19TH CENTURY
the stupa with stepped lower base, adorned with figures of the Guardians of the Four Directions on each face flanked by addorsed snow lions, with inlaid semi-precious stones, the four-tiered steps inscribed in Lantsa script, the silver dome encircled with small pearls, a mandorla niche with repoussé scrolling motif and further adorned with inlaid stone exposing a small figure of Achala within, the spire with sun and crescent moon finial 

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 13440


51 cm, 20 in.
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Catalogue Note

The creation of stupa or reliquaries as a means to preserve and glorify the remains of important religious figures is a common historical practice throughout the Buddhist (and pre-Buddhist) world, as architectural monuments and later, as portable shrines. Stupa derive from ancient Indian burial mounds and were incorporated into Buddhism as containers of the relics of the Buddha and other holy figures, as a reminder of his enlightenment and symbolic of his physical body and teachings. They portray cosmological representations of the Buddhist universe, and their forms are doctrinally regulated—the stepped plinths represent the stepped form of Mount Meru, the centre of the Buddhist cosmos, while the layers of the tall conical spire symbolise the states of enlightenment.

The design of a stupa, such as the current work, is based upon the three-dimensional mandala. The square stupa base is adorned with a single row of lotus petals. Above the double-step, on each face of the stupa is a niche with a corresponding repoussé image depicting the Guardians of the Four Directions—Dhritarashtra (East), Vaishravana (North), Virupaksha (West) and Virudhaka (South). The Four Guardians protect the four torana or gates of the outer level of the stupa as mandala. Each guardian is flanked by adorsed snow lions and filigree motifs, below a further single row of lotus petals. A further step is elegantly inlaid with semi-precious stones.

Rising from a further single row of lotus petals are four steps which represent the Four Immeasurables, adorned with a Lantsa inscription, likely a Buddhist invocation. A silver garbhaya or dome edged with lotus petals rests atop the four steps. This womb-shaped dome represents the original shape of reliquary mounds, later stylised to resemble an upside-down alms bowl. The ungilt garbhaya is delicately ornamented with a row of freshwater pearls and gilt-copper beading. Within the main face of the garbhaya is a gilt copper niche adorned with inlaid stone, revealing a copper repoussé protector deity with traces of gilding and red polychromy. The harmika or square railing marks the outer boundary of the garbhaya, further adorned with inlaid stone and a row of lotus petals, out of which arise the tiered spire representing the thirteen steps of enlightened consciousness of the Buddha. The parasol or chattra is depicted with undulating rows of copper beads, and surmounted by a crescent moon, sun and lotus bud.

Compare the stupa form and Lantsa inscription with an eighteenth century thangka depicting a Vijaya Stupa, see Gerd-Wolfgang Essen, et al., Die Gotter des Himalaya: Buddhistische Kunst Tibets, Munich, 1989, pp. 46-47, cat. no. I-17. 

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

|
Hong Kong