Lot 3501
  • 3501


350,000 - 500,000 HKD
500,000 HKD
bidding is closed


  • 41.1 cm, 16 1/8  in.
superbly carved and depicted seated in vajraparyankasana on a double-lotus base, with hands crossed in prajnalinganabhinayamudra before the chest, the head rendered gently tilted to the left with a serene expression and soft smile, framed by a pair of pendulous earlobes adorned with ornamental wheel-shaped earrings and an elaborate five-pronged crown centred with a beast mask and enclosing a high chignon, further decorated with extravagant beaded jewellery, including armbands, bracelets and necklaces, clad in a dhoti cascading in layered folds on the base, each sole picked out with a dharma wheel and resting atop the garment decorated with floral motifs, all above a central floral scroll above the lappets on the base, all the details finely rendered in gilding against the dark brown ground

Catalogue Note

This large and superbly carved sculpture depicts the Dhyani Buddha Vajradhara seated in vajraparyankasana; his hands crossed in front of his chest in vajrahumkaramudra. He would originally have been holding a ghanta in the left hand and a vajra in the right, signifying the union of wisdom and compassion. His five-pronged crown represents the five qualities of Buddhahood. Vajradhara is revered as the primordial or Adi Buddha. His mantra – aum ah Guru Vajradhara hum! – pays obeisance to the one who embodies the highest level of Enlightenment. Similar iconography can be seen on a 15th/16th century gilt-bronze figure of Vajradhara at Ngor Monastery, Tibet, illustrated in Ulrich von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, Hong Kong, 2001, vol. II, pl. 330.

For another 15th century Tibetan zitan figure with similar gilt-lacquer floral decoration on the robes, see the figure of the monk in the John and Berthe Ford collection, illustrated in Pratapaditya Pal, Desire and Devotion: Art from India, Nepal and Tibet in The John and Berthe Ford Collection, Baltimore, 2001, p. 298, pl. 174.