330
330
A SILVER AND COPPER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF MAITREYA
TIBET, 15TH / 16TH CENTURY
Estimate
50,00070,000
JUMP TO LOT
330
A SILVER AND COPPER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF MAITREYA
TIBET, 15TH / 16TH CENTURY
Estimate
50,00070,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Bodies of Infinite Light Featuring an Important Collection of Buddhist Figures Formerly in the Collection of the Chang Foundation

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New York

A SILVER AND COPPER INLAID COPPER ALLOY FIGURE OF MAITREYA
TIBET, 15TH / 16TH CENTURY
finely cast, seated in vajraparyankasana with the hands held in dharmacakra mudra, lotus blossoms bearing a water sprinkler, bumpa labum, and a lotus bud flanking the broad shoulders, the long stems of the flowers aligned with the arms and terminating in the palms, the high topknot surmounted by a stupa and encircled by a five-point diadem, the central section of which is inlaid with turquoise and supported below by a mask of Garuda, above a turquoise-inlaid urna and arched, sweeping brows framing the silver and copper-inlaid eyes, the body adorned with jewelry and ornaments, a sash draped over the shoulders and flaring out from the elbows, a jeweled girdle securing the dhoti with lotus-incised hem, raised on a double-lotus base, the base sealed with a copper plate inscribed with a vishvavajra
Height 10 7/8  in., 27.6 cm
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Provenance

Asian Private Collection.

Catalogue Note

The present figure beautifully incorporates characteristics of 15th century Tibetan bronze sculpture. The copper-ringed, silver-inlaid eyes and the subtle smile of the upturned, sensuously cast lips show a likeness to the faces of two sculptures attributed to the 15th century, Lhasa, Central Tibet, illustrated in Ulrich von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, vol. II, Hong Kong, 2001, pls 323A-B. The first von Schroeder figure, a standing Avalokiteshvara, and the second, a seated Vajradhara, each have eyes inlaid with silver and are supported by a lotus base closely related to the base of the present figure. A similar crown, not inlaid but with the mask of Garuda, is present in the Avalokiteshvara, and the two bodhisattvas are adorned with similar jewelry. The Vajradhara is outfitted in a similarly cast sash and the treatment of the legs, feet, and folds of the garment is similar to the present figure's. Compare as well a bronze figure of Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara, attributed to the 16th century, Tibet, illustrated in Gerd-Wolfgang Essen and Tsering Tashi Thingo, Die Götter des Himalaya, Munich, 1989, pl. II-121, with silver inlaid eyes and similar characteristics to the present figure including a similar crown, treatment of the sash, and double-lotus base.

The present Maitreya figure also exhibits characteristics of Western Tibet, incorporating a broad, squared face, and the elongated torso evocative of figures from the Guge Kingdom. Compare the face and eyes with a figure from the Pritzker Collection, attributed to Western Tibet, 13th century, and published in Rob Linrothe, Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and its Legacies, New York, 2014, pl. 2.32. A close comparison reveals further similarities in the downcast flower buds embellishing the larger blossoms adjacent to the three figures.

The dharmacakra mudra presented with this figure derives from the first lecture given by Shakyamuni at Deer Park in Sarnath. The fingerpoints held together symbolize holding and turning the wheel of the dharma, and the fingers that remain extended symbolize the three jewels: Buddha, dharma, and sangha. As the origin of the mudra would indicate, it is the most important teaching mudra of Buddha, and is often employed by Maitreya.

Bodies of Infinite Light Featuring an Important Collection of Buddhist Figures Formerly in the Collection of the Chang Foundation

|
New York