3505
3505
AN INSCRIBED GILT-LACQUERED ZITAN FIGURE OF TARA
TIBET, 15TH CENTURY
Estimate
300,000500,000
JUMP TO LOT
3505
AN INSCRIBED GILT-LACQUERED ZITAN FIGURE OF TARA
TIBET, 15TH CENTURY
Estimate
300,000500,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Scholarly and Imperial Works of Art from a Distinguished Collection

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Hong Kong

AN INSCRIBED GILT-LACQUERED ZITAN FIGURE OF TARA
TIBET, 15TH CENTURY
depicted seated in lalitasana on a double-lotus base with a beaded upper edge, the right foot resting on an individual lotus issuing from the base, depicted with the right hand in varada mudra and the left in vitarka mudra, the expression rendered alert and subtly accentuated with protruding cheekbones, framed by a pair of pendulous earlobes adorned with ornate wheel-shaped earrings and a crown enclosing a high top-knot surmounted with a floret, the figure superbly rendered with a voluptuous torso adorned with a shawl and beaded jewellery, including necklaces, bracelets and armbands, further portrayed dressed with a loose dhoti cascading in folds over the legs, the garment finely detailed in gilt-lacquer with floral motifs, the exposed areas of the body save for the face applied with gilding, the lower edge of the base inscribed with a Tibetan inscription reading (bcu gsum) // rje btsun ma me ltar ’bar ma bar chad bsrung ba’i bum pa b[s]nams pa la na mo// ('Thirteen // Homage to Tara who, being ablaze like fire, carries a vase holding back hindrances').
20.1 cm, 7 7/8  in.
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Catalogue Note

It is rare to find a Tibetan zitan figure of this quality in such well preserved condition, with the intricate gilt-lacquer floral decoration on the robes intact. Another closely related zitan figure depicting a monk, with similar gilt-lacquer floral motifs in the John and Berthe Ford collection is 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, where it is assigned to the 15th century.

This statue represents Paripacaka Tara, the thirteenth image of a group known as the Twenty-One Taras, based on a text called Praises to the Twenty-One Taras in which the Buddhist goddess appears in different peaceful and wrathful forms. The corresponding verse for this image reads as follows:

'Homage to you, Tara, who dwell within a blazing garland that resembles the fire at the end of this world age;
Surrounded by joy, you sit with your right leg extended and left withdrawn, completely destroying all the masses of enemies.'

She is known as ‘Tara who Bestows Maturity’, and this particular iconography seems to follow Atiśa’s tradition.

The Tibetan inscription on the base reads:
(bcu gsum) // rje btsun ma me ltar ’bar ma bar chad bsrung ba’i bum pa b[s]nams pa la na mo//

Thirteen // Homage to Tara who, being ablaze like fire, carries a vase holding back hindrances.'

Scholarly and Imperial Works of Art from a Distinguished Collection

|
Hong Kong