A ritual offering vase with Smashana Adipati
Tibeto-Chinese, circa 18th century
Raised on a tapered lotus foot, the body of the vase is decorated with scenes of the cremation or charnel grounds between a sea of flames and beaded garlands. Ornamented with various ritual implements including; a flaming sword, ritual axe, and conch as well as birds of prey, and mythical beasts. Scattered in the composition are a variant of the seven gems of the chakravartin including; a coral branch, a pair of elephant tusks, a three-eyed jewel, a unicorn horn, the three gems, crossed pair of measuring rulers, a pair of king's earrings and a pair of queen's earrings. The primary elements of the dancing skeletons (chitipat), showing the male holding a skull-tipped scepter and a skull bowl, while the female holds a stalk of grain and a vase. These figures are divided by flaming skull cups, one filled with the five sense offerings, the other filled with nectar and a dragon head at the rim. The projecting ruffled rim and row of skulls support four nagas with raised heads that encircle two bands of water and mountain motifs below a band of kirttimukha, and another with an ocean containing makaras, a man rowing a boat filled with jewels and Chinese style pavilion. The flared rim is supported by a waisted lotus and cloud forms around the broad mouth.
14 in. (35.7 cm.)