A rare gilt bronze Densatil 'dancers' frieze Ming dynasty, 14th / 15th century
Lot 281
A rare gilt bronze Densatil 'dancers' frieze Ming dynasty, 14th / 15th century
Sold for HK$ 2,660,000 (US$ 343,078) inc. premium
Lot Details
Ming gilt-bronzes from a private collection (lots 281-282)
A rare gilt bronze Densatil 'dancers' frieze
Ming dynasty, 14th / 15th century
Beautifully cast in high relief with four goddesses dancing on a lotus base bordered with beaded rims, each figure with serene expression and posed standing with the right leg crossed and head tilted to the left, holding ritual ornaments and musical instruments in four arms, wearing long pleated dhotis tied with a jewelled sash, all adorning elaborate necklaces, large disk earrings and five leaf crowns encrusted with various semi-precious stones in blue, red, pink, orange, white and turquoise colours, stand.
37.5cm wide. (2).


  • 明十四/十五世紀 西藏丹薩替寺鎏金銅四供養天女雕刻飾板

    Provenance 來源:
    Christie's New York, March 21, 2001, lot 81.

    Decorative plaques of this nature were mounted along the lower borders of large reliquaries that contained mortal remains of political and religious leaders such as that of Pagmodrupa Dorje Gyalpo (1110-1170). This practice was relatively distinctive of the Kagyu monastic complex in Densatil, southeast of Lhasa. Founded in 1108, Densatil served as the sanctuary of the Phag-mo-grub family who was in rule for more than one hundred years from the mid-fourteen century, occupying a significant period in Tibetan history.

    Densatil was subsequently destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, leaving no reminders except fragments of its artistic wealth and black-and-white pictures taken by Italian photographer, Pietro Francesco Mele in 1948. Refer to Pietro Francesco Mele, Tibet, Calcutta, 1975, a photographic documentation of his expedition through India to Tibet.

    Another rare gilt-bronze Densatil frieze, presenting a row of four-armed dancing goddesses, from the collection of Mr and Mrs John l. Eastman, was included in the exhibition and illustrated in the catalogue by Marylin Rhie and Robert Thurman, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, New York, 2000, pg. 483, no 240. See also a frieze from the collection of Philip Goldman, London, illustrated by von Schroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, Hong Kong, 1981, pg. 430, pl. 113G. Two of Mele's photos of the monastery are also illustrated in this publication, ibid, pg. 462.

    Comparable Densatil friezes from the Capital Museum, Beijing and the Dallas Museum of Art, are illustrated on himalayanart.org, the online Himalayan art resources website created by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, item nos 59846 and 64926. See also the frieze in the collection of the Guimet Museum, Paris, illustrated, ibid, no. 85952 (fig. 1).
  1. Sally Fong
    Specialist - Chinese Works of Art
    Suite 2001, One Pacific Place
    Hong Kong
    Work +852 2918 4321
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