A WOOD RITUAL STAFF NEPAL, 10TH-13TH CENTURY
Lot 9
A WOOD RITUAL STAFF
NEPAL, 10TH-13TH CENTURY
HK$ 250,000 - 350,000
US$ 32,000 - 45,000

Lot Details
A WOOD RITUAL STAFF NEPAL, 10TH-13TH CENTURY A WOOD RITUAL STAFF NEPAL, 10TH-13TH CENTURY
A WOOD RITUAL STAFF
NEPAL, 10TH-13TH CENTURY
Himalayan Art Resources item no.2453
132.1 cm (52 in.) long

Footnotes

  • Caked in orange unguents typical of ritual practice in Nepal, and with raised edges of its carved figures rubbed from extensive handling down to their silhouettes, this rare and ancient Buddhist khatvanga, danda, or purbha is steeped in mystery. However, we can surmise from its registers of benign and wrathful bodhisattvas a complex iconography coded in gendered and erotic symbolism. Among them, appear to be Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani. The latter is modeled in much the same basic style as a c.10th-century copper figure of Vajrapani sold at Bonhams, New York, 17 March 2014, lot 3.

    Above these four-faced and seven-tiered niches with deities is a stack of three dried skulls below the busts of male or female deity (depending on which side), and a surmounting five-prong vajra. Below them is the three-faced bust of Vajrakila holding a purbha before his primary chest, above a tripartite blade issuing from the mouth of a snake-spewing makara.

    It is possible this evocative staff may have been held during rituals, or may have been part of a large sculpture's iconographic program. Only one other example of its kind is known, sold at Christie's, London, 11 October 1988, lot 136.

    Provenance
    Private European Collection by mid 1990s
    Private American Collection


    木雕天杖
    尼泊爾,十至十三世紀

    喜馬拉雅藝術資源網2453號
    長132.1釐米(52英吋)

    250,000-350,000港元

    此隻罕見而古老的佛教「天杖」,「骨架棒」,或「普巴杵」極富神秘色彩。天杖表面殘留有朱砂色凝結物,源於常見的尼泊爾宗教儀軌。木雕紋經多年把玩已失去稜角,所刻人物形象僅可見輪廓。天杖上刻有忿怒相及寂靜相菩薩並帶有情慾色彩,亦體現多重複雜之圖像意義。其中可見觀世音菩薩以及金剛手菩薩。此處金剛手菩薩的形象與2014年3月17日在邦翰斯售出的十世紀金剛手菩薩銅像之形象相似(拍品3號)。

    在天杖四面七層之尊神壁龛之上插有三顆乾枯骷顱頭,其上可見一面男一面女的雙面半身像,桿頂直立一五股金剛杵。天杖下端,三面普巴金剛手持普巴杵,三棱利器從吐蛇摩伽羅的口中伸出。

    此隻天杖可能作為獨立法器在宗教儀式中使用,亦可能為大型造像之一部分。目前僅知一件類似天杖於1988年10月11日在佳士得倫敦售出(拍品136號)。

    來源
    歐洲私人珍藏,自九十年代中期以前
    美國私人珍藏

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