A SILVER FIGURE OF MAHAPRATISARA NEPAL, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY

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Lot 807
A SILVER FIGURE OF MAHAPRATISARA
NEPAL, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY

Sold for HK$ 1,500,625 (US$ 191,168) inc. premium
A SILVER FIGURE OF MAHAPRATISARA
NEPAL, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY
With separately cast and affixed side ribbons and halo, the halo with remains of cold gold pigment.
Himalayan Art Resources item no.68464
11.1 cm (4 3/8 in.) high

Footnotes

  • Published
    David Weldon and Jane Casey Singer, The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, London, 1999, pp.124-5, pl.29.
    Franco Ricca, Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell'Himalaya, Turin, 2004, fig. IV.67.

    Exhibited
    The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 6 October – 30 December 1999.
    Arte Buddhista Tibetana: Dei e Demoni dell'Himalaya, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, 18 June - 19 September 2004.
    Casting the Divine: Sculptures of the Nyingjei Lam Collection, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2 March 2012 – 11 February 2013.

    Provenance
    The Nyingjei Lam Collection
    On loan to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1996-2005
    On loan to the Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2005-2019

    This silver, gemlike figurine pays tribute to Mahapratisara, a prominent divine protector against illness and danger in Tibetan and Newari Buddhism, who is also propitiated for rebirth into heaven. She is described in the Pancarakshasutra as being the chief among five female guardian deities, known as the Pancha Raksha, having the broadest purview of concerns she offers protection from. Mahapratisara is also said in the Bhadrakalpavadana to have protected Buddha's wife, Yasodhara, during her six-year long pregnancy, safely bringing Rahula into this world.

    Mahapratisara may appear in various forms and can be yellow or white in color. Her depiction here, with four faces and eight arms, conforms to the Bari Gyatsa of Bari Lotsawa Rinchen Drag (1040-1112), an important treatise on the appearance of deities. The sculpture has been fortunate to survive with the goddess' attributes intact, which also follow the Bari Gyatsa, showing Mahapratisara holding an axe, a bow, a trident, a lasso, a wheel, a vajra, an arrow, and a sword. Commanding this plentiful array of weapons, she guards her followers.

    The accomplished creator of this sculpture has mastered the deity's complex form and sophisticated jewelry. Mahapratisara's many arms radiate elegantly and naturally, with those on her right slightly lower than the ones on her left, corresponding to the gentle sway of her torso. Each of her four faces has an introspective gaze and a faint smile, bearing an air of transcendence. Her celestial nature is further accentuated by an elaborate crown of jewel-centered teardrop leaves, and a stylized halo, "painted gold in the Tibetan manner of delighting in the effect of contrasting colors" (Weldon & Casey Singer, The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, London, 1999, p.124). Every element, from her attributes to her regalia, has been cast with precision and refinement.

    Traditionally, silver in Tibet is rarer and considered more precious than gold, being spared for commissions deemed more costly, meritorious, and efficacious. Additionally, Weldon and Casey Singer have suggested the choice of silver may also connote Mahapratisara's white appearance as she materializes in Pancha Raksha mandalas (ibid.).

    While commissioned by a Tibetan patron, the sculpture carries stylistic elements consistent with Newari art of the 17th century. The halo, for example, bears close similarity to those in two Nepalese bronzes of the period surrounding the heads of Kumara and Ganesa (see Pal, Nepal: Where the Gods are Young, New York, 1975, pp.118-9, figs.89-90). The faces, each with a prominent nose above a delicate mouth, are also stylistically Nepalese, as is the sensuous depiction of her narrow waist and the fleshy curves about her navel. Compare the treatment of her face and waist to that of a Nepalese White Tara published in Kramrisch, The Art of Nepal, New York, 1964, p.52. A 17th-century parcel-gilt silver figure of Ushnishavijaya, with similar face, coiffure, and overall proportions is published in Grewenig & Rist (eds.), Buddha: 2000 Years of Buddhist Art, Völklingen, 2016, pp.350-1, no.148.


    大隨求佛母銀像
    尼泊爾,約十七世紀
    佛母帔帛與背光皆為分別鑄造後安裝;背光施泥金。
    喜馬拉雅藝術資源網68464號
    高11.1釐米(4 3/8 英吋)

    1,200,000-1,600,000港幣

    著錄
    David Weldon與Jane Casey Singer,《The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet:Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection》,倫敦,1999年,頁124-5,圖版29。
    Franco Ricca,《Arte Buddhista Tibetana:Dei e Demoni dell'Himalaya》,都靈,2004年,圖IV.67。

    展覽
    「The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet:Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection」,阿什莫林博物館,牛津,1999年10月6日至12月30日。
    「Arte Buddhista Tibetana:Dei e Demoni dell'Himalaya」,布里凱拉西奧宮,都靈,2004年6月18日至9月19日。
    「Casting the Divine:Sculptures of the Nyingjei Lam Collection」,魯賓藝術博物館,紐約,2012年3月2日至2013年2月11日。

    來源
    菩薩道收藏
    借展於阿什莫林博物館,牛津,1996年至2005年
    借展於魯賓藝術博物館,紐約,2005年至2019年

    此尊熠熠生輝、寧靜和悅的銀像呈現西藏與尼泊爾佛教經典中重要的守護女尊大隨求佛母,其大悲眾生,可令諸難得解脫,並賜予新生與安樂。《五護陀羅尼經》記載大隨求佛母為陀羅尼化身之五護法佛母中的主尊,能消除一切怨憎、病痛與罪障。《賢劫譬喻》則記述佛母在悉達多太子之妻耶輸陀羅身懷羅睺羅的六年之中彰顯法力庇佑其母子,令羅睺羅得以平安出生。

    大隨求佛母形象變幻不一,或為黃色,或為白色。巴日大譯師仁欽扎(1040-1112年)之《百種成就法》為後世研究各尊神袛形象之重要參考,本尊銀像所呈現的四頭八臂以及所持斧、弓、三叉戟、索、法輪、金剛杵、箭及劍皆與書中對大隨求佛母之描述相符。更令人欣喜的是,這些玲瓏的部件在此後的千百年間無一遺失,令佛母得以在漫漫歲月中威儀凜然地揮舞著法器,護衛眾生平安。

    佛母銀像造型複雜纖巧,瓔珞及臂釧等珠寶亦瑰麗華美,展現出匠師爐火純青的技藝。其八臂依次優雅展開,右側手臂隨著身體自然傾斜而稍高於左側,令其姿態自然而靈動。佛母四面皆含淺笑,目光深沉內斂,氣韻超塵拔俗。淚珠狀的五葉寶冠中央鑲嵌寶石,頭光以「西藏風格漆金以塑造深淺明暗對照之趣」(Weldon與Casey Singer,《The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet:Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection》,倫敦,1999年,頁124),更烘托其天人風姿。自法器至衣飾點綴,種種巧奪天工的細節皆令銀像臻於完美。

    在西藏傳統中,銀比金更為珍貴,故以銀造像比金更為不菲,亦更能彰顯信徒心意誠摯,也更為靈驗。不過,Weldon與Casey Singer亦指出,此造像以銀製或為呼應大隨求佛母於五護法佛壇城中的白色外形(同上)。

    儘管此像為藏人所供养,其造型中亦帶有十七世紀時的尼泊爾風格。例如,佛母的金色頭光與約十七世紀的兩尊尼泊爾銅像頗為相似,一尊為鳩摩羅造像,一尊為象鼻神造像(見Pal,《Nepal: Where the Gods are Young》,紐約,1975年,頁118至119,圖89至90)。佛母四面秀麗,高鼻小嘴,腰部纖瘦婀娜而下腹漸為豐滿,同樣屬尼泊爾風格。Kramrisch《The Art of Nepal》中一尊尼泊爾白度母像(紐約,1946年,頁52)與其面部及腰部塑造可相比較。一尊十七世紀局部銀鎏金之尊勝佛母則具有相似面容、髮式及身形比例,著錄於Grewenig及Rist編《Buddha: 2000 Years of Buddhist Art》,佛爾克林根,2016年,頁350至351,編號148。
Contacts
A SILVER FIGURE OF MAHAPRATISARA NEPAL, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY
A SILVER FIGURE OF MAHAPRATISARA NEPAL, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY
A SILVER FIGURE OF MAHAPRATISARA NEPAL, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY
A SILVER FIGURE OF MAHAPRATISARA NEPAL, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY
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