A POLYCHROMED COPPER ALLOY CHAKRASAMVARA MANDALA NORTHEASTERN INDIA AND CHINA, PALA AND QIANLONG PERIODS, QIANLONG MARK, 12TH AND 18TH CENTURY

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 908
A POLYCHROMED COPPER ALLOY CHAKRASAMVARA MANDALA
NORTHEASTERN INDIA AND CHINA, PALA AND QIANLONG PERIODS,
QIANLONG MARK, 12TH AND 18TH CENTURY

Sold for US$ 325,075 inc. premium
A POLYCHROMED COPPER ALLOY CHAKRASAMVARA MANDALA
NORTHEASTERN INDIA AND CHINA, PALA AND QIANLONG PERIODS,
QIANLONG MARK, 12TH AND 18TH CENTURY

An inscription in Chinese along the bottom of the lotus base reads, "Daqing Qianlong nian jing zhuang". Translated, "Respectfully consecrated during the Qianlong period in the Great Qing dynasty".
Himalayan Art Resources item no.61916
13 3/8 in. (34 cm) high

Footnotes

  • 東北印度與中原 帕拉王朝與乾隆時期 十二與十八世紀 勝樂金剛曼荼羅「大清乾隆年敬裝」楷書款

    This complex sculpture represents a lotus mandala symbolizing the celestial abode of Chakrasamvara. Mandalas are ubiquitous throughout Tantric Buddhist art, though most are painted two-dimensionally or temporarily created with sand. Rare sculptural mandalas, such as the present lot, are perhaps the most fascinating kind, constructed with a mechanism to open and close the lotus petals around the central deity. The inception of such bronze lotus mandalas probably dates back to the time this example was produced, during the Pala period in Northeastern India (8th-12th century). Sculptural lotus mandalas later experienced a revival in China in the 15th century, catering to the Ming imperial taste. Thereafter, some of these highly prized sculptural mandalas, both Pala and Ming, were preserved within the Qing imperial collection. If not the only known example, the present lot is one of few medieval Pala lotus mandalas to have been preserved in the Qing dynasty with a new base, whose inscription records the mandala's consecration during the Qianlong reign (1735-96).

    At the center of this lotus mandala, when opened, the artist has cast a delicate gilded image of Chakrasamvara embracing his consort Vajravarahi. The divine couple is surrounded by eight dancing yoginis cast on the interior of each hinged lotus petal. When retracted to enclose the deities within their transcendent realm, the exterior of the lotus petals depict eight mahasiddhas in cremation grounds, perfecting their transformative Buddhist practice in these potent liminal spaces. The lotus bud is supported by a finely modeled bronze stem with scrolling openwork vines that cradle gilded effigies of Shakyamuni Buddha and a pair of Bodhisattvas. Two gilded serpent kings, Nanda and Upananda, support the lotus flower's glorious ascension from the purified waters depicted on the sculpture's lotus base below.

    The sculpture's lotus stem, lotus bud, and paired Bodhisattvas and serpent kings can be attributed with confidence to 12th-century Northeastern India. Its overall design and modelling are reflected in another Pala lotus mandala dedicated to Chakrasamvara in the Palace Museum, Beijing (Zangchuan Fojiao Zaoxiang, Hong Kong, 2008, p.56, no.55). Both the three-layered exterior of the present mandala's lotus petals and the technique of casting the retinue figures in high relief on their interior matches those of a Pala Hevajra mandala in the Rubin Museum of Art (The Rubin Museum of Art Collection Highlights, New York, 2014, pp.224-5). And while another Pala Hevajra lotus mandala, formerly in the Pan-Asian Collection, lacks the Bodhisattvas and serpent kings on its stem, it demonstrates a similar refined treatment of its central deities (Pal, The Sensuous Immortals, Los Angeles, 1977, no.57). Lastly, compare another Pala example sold at Christie's, New York, 22 March 2011, lot 382.

    Meanwhile, this lotus mandala's base features broad and plump petals characteristic of the Qianlong period. Its seven-character inscription also indicates it was consecrated during the Qianlong reign and suggests it was once in the Qing palace collection. The base's inscription ends with "jing zhuang" ("respectfully consecrated"), which is distinct and less common than "jing zao" ("respectfully made"). The use of the term here appears to commemorate a consecrating ritual rather than sealing the interior of the base with consecrated material, which would be inconsistent with how Pala lotus mandalas were initially produced. Another instance of a Qianlong inscription memorializing the consecration of an earlier Buddhist sculpture appears on a Xuande-mark-and-period Vajrasattva sold at Hanhai, Beijing, 7 June 2010, lot 2669.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the central figure of Chakrasamvara is possibly associated.
    請留意:作品中央的勝樂金剛像可能出自另一蓮花壇城。
Contacts
A POLYCHROMED COPPER ALLOY CHAKRASAMVARA MANDALA NORTHEASTERN INDIA AND CHINA, PALA AND QIANLONG PERIODS, QIANLONG MARK, 12TH AND 18TH CENTURY
A POLYCHROMED COPPER ALLOY CHAKRASAMVARA MANDALA NORTHEASTERN INDIA AND CHINA, PALA AND QIANLONG PERIODS, QIANLONG MARK, 12TH AND 18TH CENTURY
A POLYCHROMED COPPER ALLOY CHAKRASAMVARA MANDALA NORTHEASTERN INDIA AND CHINA, PALA AND QIANLONG PERIODS, QIANLONG MARK, 12TH AND 18TH CENTURY
A POLYCHROMED COPPER ALLOY CHAKRASAMVARA MANDALA NORTHEASTERN INDIA AND CHINA, PALA AND QIANLONG PERIODS, QIANLONG MARK, 12TH AND 18TH CENTURY
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $12,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $12,500 up to and including $600,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $600,000 up to and including $6,000,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $6,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

App