Lot 3137
  • 3137


1,500,000 - 2,500,000 HKD
2,125,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • bronze
seated in vajraparyankasana on a double lotus-base, the principal hands in namaskaramudra, the secondary hands raised to the shoulders holding a flower and a bodhi bead respectively, wearing elaborate beaded jewellery, a shawl, flowing dhoti and a billowing celestial scarf around his shoulders and arms, the serene face bearing a compassionate expression with eyes cast downwards, flanked by long pendulous ears suspending large earrings, the hair neatly drawn up in a chignon under an elaborate diadem, the front edge of the lotus pedestal inscribed with a six-character reign mark reading Da Ming Yongle nian shi (bestowed in the Yongle era of the great Ming), the interior with sutra scrolls


Acquired in Hong Kong, 1991.

Catalogue Note

This finely cast gilt-bronze sculpture of Sadaksari Avalokiteshvara is a personification of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara's six syllable (sadaksari) mantra, om mani padme hum (homage to the jewel in the lotus). The first known description of the mantra appears in the Karandavyuha Sutra compiled at the end of the 4th century or beginning of the 5th century AD, where Shakyamuni Buddha introduces Avalokiteshvara, and praises the mantra as being the most beneficial. The popularity of this mantra led to its personification and this form of Avalokiteshvara is the patron, and one of the most popular deities in Tibet. All Dalai Lamas are believed to be earthly manifestations of this deity.

For a closely related Yongle gilt-bronze figure of Sadakshari Avalokiteshvara in the Jokhang, Lhasa, with cold-painted face, see Ulrich von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, Hong Kong, 2001, vol. II, p. 1275, pl. 355B-C (fig. 1). Other examples include one of the same size from the Berti Aschmann Collection in the Museum Rietberg, illustrated in Helmut Uhlig, On the Path to Enlightenment: The Berti Aschmann Foundation of Tibetan Art at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, pp. 100-101, pl. 53, and a smaller example, illustrated in Buddhist Images in Gilt Metal, Chang Foundation, Taipei, 1993, p. 75, no. 30. For Yongle gilt-bronze figures of Sadakshari Avalokiteshvara sold at auction, see the example sold in our New York rooms, 20th March 2002, lot 171, and another at Christie’s Hong Kong, 30th May 2005, lot 1245.