Lot 3142
  • 3142

A RARE GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF VAJRAVARAHI MONGOLIA, 17TH CENTURY

Estimate
2,600,000 - 3,200,000 HKD
bidding is closed

Description

  • bronze
dancing in ardhaparyankasana with the bent right knee resting on a floral bloom, the right arm bent and holding a kartrika in the right hand, the left hand holding a blood-filled kapala before the chest, with a fierce expression and three glaring eyes, pendulous earlobes adorned with elaborate earrings, hair flowing upwards and a five-skull crown issuing a boar's head on one side, the long hair trailing down the back and legs on the reverse to the base, the voluptuous torso further adorned with jewellery, a beaded girdle and and garland of severed heads, a khatvanga staff resting in the bend of the left elbow

Himalayan Art Resources item no. 13445

Provenance

A European private collection, formed in the 1970s and 1980s.
Rossi & Rossi Ltd, Hong Kong, 2007. 

Catalogue Note

Depicted dancing on one foot, trampling on Black Bhairava holding a blood filled skullcap in one hand, the other a khatvanga, and adorned with a crown of dry human skulls and additional skulls draped around the body, with an elaborate karttrika balance against the arm, this sensitively cast and richly gilded figure of Vajrayogini is a rare bronze sculpture from Mongolian. The characteristic Mongolian base, with exaggerated lotus petals, is an immediate clue to its origin. The sleekness of form of the gently curved body and the calm, gentle demeanour is apparent. The characteristic sharpness of form in Tibetan sculpture is absent here. The iconography and form, however, is wholly derived from Tibetan Buddhism. Compare the similar iconography on the large gilt-copper figure of Vajrayogini in the collection of the Musee Guimet, dated circa 1700, illustrated in Marylin M. Rhie, and Robert A. F. Thurman, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, New York, 1996, p. 261, pl. 94.

For examples of other Mongolian gilt-bronze sculptures with similar characteristic lotus bases, see the two figures of Manjushri and Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara from Chahar, Inner Mongolia, circa 1700, now in the Folkens Museum Etnografiska, Stockholm, illustrated ibid., pp. 144-145, pls 35 and 36. See also an 18th century Mongolian gilt-bronze figure of Chakrasamvara, cast with similar lotus base and sharing the same treatment of the body and similar expression, sold in our London rooms, 9th November 2016, lot 132.

For a later Mongolian sculpture of Vajrayogini, see a 19th century gilt-bronze example in the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art illustrated in Barbara Lipton and Nima Dorjee Ragnubs, Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collections of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, New York, 1996, no. 53.

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