PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF BUDDHIST FIGURES FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE CHANG FOUNDATION
The chilug or spyi-blug ewer seen near the present figure's proper right shoulder is a traditional Tibetan vessel, related to the larger kundika flasks of the Tang dynasty pottery which are larger but bear a similar form and outline, as discussed in Wladimir Zwalf, Buddhism: Art and Faith, New York, 1985, p. 208. The chilug was used by monks as part of a cleansing ritual with water poured into the mouth and rinsed, and in the Ming dynasty, was recreated in cloisonne-enamel and decorated with lotuses and other Buddhist emblems. In this context, the vessel carries the same connotations of cleansing and purification. See a cloisonne-enamel example in the British Museum, attributed to the early 15th century, illustrated ibid., cat. no. 301, and another, illustrated in Ritual and Colour: Important Cloisonné Vessels from the Le Cong Tang Collection, Sotheby's Hong Kong, 2018, cat. no. 5. A Yongle mark and period gilt-bronze figure of Maitreya with a chilug at the proper right shoulder, similarly supported by a lotus, was offered in these rooms, 21st September 2007, lot 34.
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