3139
3139

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR

A GILT-BRONZE GROUP OF YAMANTAKA VAJRABHAIRAVA AND VAJRAVETALI
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 750,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
3139

PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR

A GILT-BRONZE GROUP OF YAMANTAKA VAJRABHAIRAVA AND VAJRAVETALI
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 750,000 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 GILT-BRONZE GROUP OF YAMANTAKA VAJRABHAIRAVA AND VAJRAVETALI
QING DYNASTY, 18TH CENTURY
the yidam and consort standing in alidhasana on a lotus throne, the yidam with fierce buffalo head, seven human heads and crowned with the head of the bodhisattva Manjushri and a vishvavajra finial, all heads with a third eye, fiery tresses and wearing the skull crown, with thirty-four arms holding ritual weapons and implements aloft, wearing the six bone ornaments and a garland of severed skulls, the consort in ecstatic union with the left leg wrapped around the waist of her partner, wearing a skull crown and the six bone ornaments, holding a kapala filled with amrita in the raised left hand and kartrika in the right

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 13444


34.8 cm, 13 3/4  in.
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Provenance

Galaxie Company, Hong Kong, ca. 1990.

Catalogue Note

The complex and powerfully modelled sculpture depicts Yamantaka Vajrabhairava, the wrathful manifestation of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of Discriminating Wisdom, together with his consort Vajravetali in ecstatic union. The large and ferocious buffalo head of Vajrabhairava with towering, fiery tresses coiled into thick ropes dominate the sculpture and commands the focal point, as it is the same size as the torso and legs. Six fierce human faces wrap around the back of the buffalo head, and are surmounted by a further fierce human face and the head of wrathful Manjushri.  

Vajrabhairava, or Adamantine Anger, the destroyer of ignorance and fear of death, is one of the principal yidams of the Geluk sect, the Tibetan Buddhist order founded by Tsong Khapa (1357-1419) that was later favoured at the Qing court. The Geluk sect enjoyed increased importance amongst the emperors of the Ming dynasty. From the mid-17th century on, The Geluk lineage were the dominant theocratic power in Tibet through the Dalai Lama, and the sole represented Tibetan Buddhist lineage within China.

Tsong Khapa, as well as the Manchu emperors, were additionally considered manifestations of the bodhisattva Manjushri, explaining in part the popularity of Vajrabhairava within China. The Qing emperors maintained direct links with the Dalai and Panchen Lamas and propagated the Geluk lineage of Buddhism within China, sponsoring the construction of numerous monasteries and temples around the capital of Beijing. Vajrabhairava, the all-powerful manifestation of Manjushri, was thereby symbolic of the ultimate imperial authority. This awe-inspiring statue serves to enforce the imperial mandate while representing the highest ideals of the spiritual path to Buddhist enlightenment.

Compare the triple-looped beaded girdle and short dhoti of Vajravetali with another eighteenth century bronze figure of the yidam and consort, sold at Christie’s London, 6th November 2012, lot 94.

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

|
Hong Kong