A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century
Lot 4
A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli)
Tibet, 16th/17th century
Sold for US$ 37,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli) Tibet, 16th/17th century
A silk banner of forty-four initiation cards (tsakli)
Tibet, 16th/17th century
Distemper on cloth; each with an inscribed Tibetan verso and sewn into the yellow and red silk panel with gold brocade.
4 x 3 1/8 in. (10.2 x 8 cm), each image
140 in. (355.6 cm), length of banner

Footnotes

  • 西藏 十六/十七世紀 四十四儀禮圖卡長幅

    Thirty-nine of the cards depict various animal-headed wrathful deities associated with the Nyingma traditon. Each ecstatically dances on a prone human figure over a simple lotus platform. They wear tiger skins, and some with flayed human skins. They hold various attributes, and many with human corpses in their grasp. The additional five cards include the Karma Kagyu protector deities: Damchen Garwa Nagpo with tiger-skin bellows and vajra-hammer; Sri Devi riding a mule in an ocean of blood; Bernagchen Mahakala holding the chopper and bowl; Dorje Pegpa holding a fresh human heart and vajra, and Jambhala holding a mongoose disgorging jewels. Therefore, while the main subject is Nyingma in origin, the donor-practitioner is Karma Kagyu.

    The inscriptions on the back of each card indicate that the set originally functioned as initiation cards (tsakli) into tantric practice. However, they seem to have been repurposed into a banner to decorate a meditation hall. In the Nyingma Tradition, the Guhyagarbha Tantra is considered the most important of all Tantras. The Terton Karma Lingpa, in the 14th century, is credited with the discovery of the 'treasure text' known as the Liberation Through Hearing in the Bardo (Tibetan Book of the Dead), a text intended to be read to the deceased and to influence a positive subsequent rebirth.

    For a set of cards with multiple deities on each see Lauf, Eine Ikonographie des tibetischen Buddhismus, Graz, 1979, pp. 166-72, nos. 74-7. For a similar assembly of wrathful deities found on the North Wall of the Lukhang chapel in Lhasa photographed by Thomas Laird, see Luczanits, 'Locating the Great Perfection', in Orientations, Vol. 42, no. 2, March 2011, p. 111, fig. 9.

    Referenced
    HAR - himalayanart.org/items/61466-61509

    Provenance
    Private Collection, USA
Activities
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