Tibetan Gilded Bronze Figure of the Tantric Buddha Vajrasattva

£ 1,750.00

A superbly detailed Tibetan gilded bronze figure of the tantric Buddha Vajrasattva, also known as Diamond Thunderbolt. Made of cast, gilded bronze, Vajrasattva sits in vajrasana, or full lotus position, depicted with downcast eyes and a gently smiling mouth. He would have originally held a Vajra sceptre in one hand, raised at heart level, unfortunately now missing. His other hand, resting on his foot, holds a Tribu, a Tibetan bell. He is richly ornamented in jewellery, including a five-pointed crown, earrings, necklaces and armlets, all studded with semi-precious green and purple-red stone beads. His long hair is depicted falling in elegant tresses over his shoulders and arms, the rest tied up in a high bun topped by a vajra, all very finely detailed with incisions. Vajrasattva is clothed in a dhoti covering his lower half, which beautifully falls in drapes over the Buddha’s legs, and features a very fine scrolling vegetal design along its rim. The tantric Buddha sits on a hollow lotus throne, which would have been filled with Buddist relics, the base sealed with a dented copper plate inscribed with a Visvajra, or Double Vajra. Statuettes, such as this beautiful example, were placed in temples and shrines, as a way to accrue the merit needed for good karma in Buddhist religion.

Date: Circa 18th-19th century AD.
Period: Qing Dynasty.
Provenance: Ex North London collection, 2000s.
Condition: Extremely fine.
Product Code: CS-56
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Vajrasattva is a deity connected with meditation in the Vajrayana school of Buddhism, and is associated with purification of the mind and spirit.

The Vajra sceptre is the symbol of Vajrayana, or Tantric Buddhism, one of the three main schools of Buddhism. Vajrayana can be translated as “Thunderbolt Way” or “Diamond Way” in relation to the thunderbolt experience of Buddhist enlightenment. It is also connected with the concept of indestructibility as diamonds are harder than all other gemstones.In Tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism, the Vajra sceptre and the Tribu bell are used in many rites by either a lama or any Vajrayana practitioner of spiritual exercises. Interestingly, the Vajra is a male polysemic symbol representative of many things for Tantric Buddhism. It is almost always paired with the Tribu bell, which is a female symbol, denoting praina (wisdom). Some deities are portrait holding both items, the Vajra sceptre and Tribu bell, in separate hands, symbolising the union of the forces of compassion and wisdom, respectively.

To discover more about Tibetan Buddhist artistic production, please visit our relevant blog post: Tibetan Buddhist Bronzes.

Dimensions W 18 x H 23 cm
Region

Central Asia

Metal

Gilt-Bronze

Semi-Precious Stone

Amethyst

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