A gilt-bronze figure of Palden Lhamo Mid Qing dynasty
Lot 612
A gilt-bronze figure of Palden Lhamo Mid Qing dynasty
Sold for HK$ 524,000 (US$ 67,603) inc. premium

Lot Details
The Property of a Gentleman
A gilt-bronze figure of Palden Lhamo
Mid Qing dynasty
The wrathful deity seated in lalitasana on a mule, her right arm raised and her left hand holding a skull cup, the ferocious face comprising of a pair of glaring eyes and exposed sharp teeth, pierced with a third eye in between the bushy eyebrows, the flaming hair upswept with traces of red paint further adorned with a crescent moon above a five-skull diadem, dressed in a multi-headed shawl over the shoulders and accessorized with a lion earring on her right ear and a snake earring on her left along with beaded jewelries and a rosary of figural head, its mule's reins, bridle, and trappings made of snakes with a dangling ball of thread on the rear leg, the flayed skin of a human being acting as a saddle blanket, all raised on a base consisting of crusty waves amidst an ocean of blood.
30.2cm high.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Acquired by a French colonial officer in the mid 19th century, and thence by descent

    The dark skinned deity is often referred to as Palden Lhamo Remati or Palden Lhamo Magzorma. It is the only female among the eight great dharmapala, the protectors of Buddhism beginning from the thirteenth century to the end of the Qing dynasty, during which her blessing initiations and teachings were translated from Sankrit into Tibetan and subsequently taken to Imperial China, Mongolia, and Russia. It should be noted that her jewelries are associated with a plethora of meanings, for instance, her lion earring can be seen as a trapping of power as means to impress her assistances while her snake earring and her skull cup signify her status as a conqueror of demonic evils. The current lot is surmounted on a base possibly in reference to the illustrious Lake Lhamo Latso in Southern Tibet, a holy lake where Palden Lhamo once resided. In essence, the lake is regarded as a sacred place where local officials would pray in hopes of receiving visions of the future. It was once used to retrieve the reincarnations of the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama.
    For a comparable example in the Palace Museum, Beijing, see Cultural Relics of Tibetan Buddhism Collected in the Qing Palace, 1992, no.78. Another example is also illustrated in Lipton Barbara, Treasures of Tibetan Art, Collections of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, New York, 1996, p. 174, pl. 92.

    清中期 銅鎏金吉祥天母像
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