A gilt-bronze figure of eleven-headed Avalokiteshvara, Tang dynasty

唐 鎏金銅十一面觀世音菩薩立像


A gilt-bronze figure of eleven-headed Avalokiteshvara
Tang dynasty
唐 鎏金銅十一面觀世音菩薩立像

Height 8½ in., 21.6 cm.

Yamanaka & Co., New York.
Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, 27th May 1944, lot 724.
Collection of Rafi Y. Mottahedeh (1901-1978).
Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, 4th November 1978, lot 211.
Connecticut Private Collection.
Sotheby's New York, 23rd March 2011, lot 691.

Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc.,紐約,1944年5月27日,編號724
Rafi Y. Mottahedeh (1901-1978) 收藏

Reflection and Enlightenment: Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2017-2018.

《Reflection and Enlightenment: Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes from the Jane and Leopold Swergold Collection》,休士頓美術館,休士頓,2017至2018年

Leopold Swergold, Thoughts on Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes, 2014, pl. 26.

Leopold Swergold,《Thoughts on Chinese Buddhist Gilt Bronzes》,2014年,圖版26

This unusual figure depicts Avalokiteshvara standing in tribhanga on a lotus platform. Of the six arms, one pair holds the hands in anjali mudra in front of the chest, while the others respectively hold a pierced star-shaped symbol of the sun and the moon, a kundika, a rosary, and a lotus stem with an attendant bud. The dynamic eleven-headed form is derived from the Indian tradition, where deities with supernatural powers had the ability to manifest themselves in as many as thirty-three different forms to help those in need. Here the eleven heads enable the bodhisattva to detect need in every direction, reminding devotees of the mercy and compassion of Avalokiteshvara.