A gilt-bronze figure of Mahakala 18th century
Lot 314*
A gilt-bronze figure of Mahakala
18th century
Sold for £27,500 (US$ 46,407) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A gilt-bronze figure of Mahakala
18th century
Elaborately cast striding in pratyalidha on a prostrate figure of an elephant-headed deity on a separately-cast lotus pedestal with the principal hands holding a vajra chopper and skull bowl, the other hands with a skull rosary, a damaru drum and the feet of an elephant skin draped across his back, wearing a tiger-skin skirt tied around his bulging belly, heavily embellished with a garland of severed heads and beaded jewellery, the wrathful face surmounted by flamelike red hair behind the skull crown.
17.7cm (7in) high (2).

Footnotes

  • 十八世紀 銅鎏金大黑天像

    The protector deity Mahakala is a wrathful form of the primordial Vajradhara, the supreme essence of all Buddhas. He can be two-armed, four-armed or six-armed as in the present lot. In his six-armed form he is also considered as a fierce and powerful manifestation of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

    Mahakala's fearsome appearance and the terrifying implements that he holds display his capability to cope with our persistent and unwanted negativities. His most distinctive symbolic attributes are the chopper (kartri) and the skull bowl (kapala) filled with blood, symbolising the sharp edge of wisdom shredding all materialistic negative attitudes in the human-skull bowl of emptiness that holds the blood of defeated evil and demonic elements.

    Compare a related powerful figure of Mahakala, 17th century, in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, illustrated by M.Rhie and R.Thurman, Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, New York, 1996, pl.111. See also a six-armed Mahakala illustrated by B.Lipton and N.Ragnubs, Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collections of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, New York and Oxford, 1996, pl.84.

    此尊左展立姿,腳踏毗那耶迦象,象鼻側歪,右手托嘎巴拉碗。大黑天一面六臂,頭戴骷髏冠,頂豎火焰形紅髮,三目圓睜,下頜有卷鬚,形象憤怒。正兩手持鉞刀和嘎巴拉碗,右上手持骷髏數珠,右下手持嘎巴拉鼓,項掛人頭骨念珠,垂至下身,下身穿虎皮裙,身後披象皮,氣勢恢宏。

    大黑天在佛教地位崇高,具備五方佛的全部智慧。其形像有二臂、四臂和六臂等數種,此珍藏系列裏的大黑天像均為六臂形式,也是較被重視和常見的一種。在藏傳佛教中,大黑天是一位宮室、知識和財富的保護神。亦據說被觀音菩薩降伏而被視為觀音菩薩的憤怒化身。

    大黑天最重要的法器是鉞刀和嘎巴拉碗。恐怖的盛血頭顱器代表生命的執著,鉞刀是為了伏惡除障,而腳下所踏的是人類內心的三毒四魔。

    可對比一件多倫多皇家安大略博物館藏十七世紀的兇猛大黑天像,見1996年紐約出版M.Rhie and R.Thurman著《Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet》,圖版111。另一相關例子可見紐約Jacques Marchais博物館藏的一件六臂大黑天像,見1996年紐約和牛津出版B.Lipton and N.Ragnubs著《Treasures of Tibetan Art: Collections of the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art》,圖版84。
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