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Sino Tibetan Bronze
Tsong Khapa
Riding On Elephant
Circa: 20th century
H 12 in.(30cm), W 7.5 in.(19cm), D 5 in.(12.5cm)
Condition: Excellent

This dark bronze depicts Tsong Khapa riding an elephant (strength, wisdom, prudence) with his hands in teaching mudra. He is wearing the traditional pandita hat worn by Buddhist scholars in India and is dressed in the robes of a Tibetan monk. Lotus flowers rise from their stems in his hands to the level of his shoulders, where they support a sword and a book, symbolizing the penetrating power of wisdom and identifying Tsong Khapa as a manifestation of Manjushri, whose attributes are also the sword and book. Some representations of Tsong Khapa realistically emphasize his actual features, such as his long eyebrows and hooked nose; this bronze however is an idealized portrait that nevertheless retains Tsong Khapa’s bright and alert countenance. Recognized at the age of three as a reincarnated Boddhisattva, he went to central Tibet at seventeen and became one of Tibet’s greatest scholar/philosophers, whose influence was immeasurable, extending even to China and Mongolia. The Gelugpa sect, which became the most powerful Buddhist sect in Tibet and surrounding countries, was founded by Tsong Khapa, who is now revered as a Buddha.

This excellent statue is firmly modeled and well detailed; the surface bears a handsome patina of dark brown with green crystallization forming.

Tsong Khapa On Elephant
Private Collection
Tsong Khapa On ElephantTsong Khapa On Elephant
Tsong Khapa On Elephant pedestalTsong Khapa On Elephant back
Last BuddhaFuture Buddha

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