RARE IMPORTANT GILT BRONZE TIBETO-CHINESE MING DYNASTY PERIOD GILT BRONZE FIGURE OF VAJRABHAIRAVA
Ekavira Vajrabhairava (Tibetan: dor je jig je pa wo chig pa. English: The Solitary Hero Vajra Terror) a wrathful form of Manjushri.
Dimensional, gilt bronze lotus mandala is similar from the Pala kingdom of Eastern India (8th - 11th century). The bull-headed Vajra Terror (Vajrabhairava) rests within a lotus bud that rises above a filigreed stem with branches bearing images of offering goddesses and serpent figures.
This elaborate gilt artifact probably from the Ming Emperor YongLe (reigned 1403-1424), who cultivated the relationship of the Chinese imperial court with Tibet's great Lamas, by means of a carefully orchestrated program of invitations to the Ming capitals at Nanjing and Beijing and repeated gift-giving. This three-
Dimensional mandala was once kept on the third floor of the Potala Palace.
The meditational deity Vajra Terror has nine heads, thirty-four arms and sixteen legs; each displays a different attribute. All of these attributes are part of the mnemonic device, the personification of the Vajrabhairava Tantra text. The metaphor of the practice of Vajra Terror is death; the death of the person, the moment, the ego, and so forth.
Bhairava, dark blue in color, has 9 faces, 34 hands and 16 legs. The main face is that of a buffalo, with slightly angry face of Manjushri placed on top. Flames shoot from the tips of the horns. Each face has three large round eyes, bared fangs and wrathful expressions; reddish-brown hair flows upward like flames. The first pair of hands hold a curved knife and skull cup to the heart. The remaining hands hold a multitude of weapons with the 2nd and last set holding in addition the fresh outstretched hide of an elephant. He is adorned with bracelets, necklaces and a girdle all formed of interlaced bone ornaments, a necklace of snakes and a long necklace of fifty heads. The right legs are bent pressing down on a man, animals and various gods. The left legs are extended straight and press upon eight birds and various gods; Standing in alidhasana with his consort, standing on top of prostrate figures, birds and bovine animals above a lotus base. To each side of the lotus throne skull cups are filled with various offerings.
Underside with incised quatrefoil flori-form petal visvavajra mark surrounding the centralized DaiJi. Displayed upon a gilt bronze candelabra stand, in scrolling foliate, with miniature Buddha's, and various auspicious motifs and patterns. Extensive trace of gilt on surface and red pigment on hair. The back of Yamantaka shows an rectangular cut-out, a precisely fitting bronze comes with the sculpture.
Provenance: Charlotte, North Carolina private collector.
Dimension: 16" H x 9" W
Excellent condition, with normal anomalies in nature, sign of stressed surface, minor scratch & dent. Surface traced wear and or declined to gilding. Normal, considering ages and wears.
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