Tibetan Gilt Bronze
Circa: Late 17th-18th
H 6 in.(15cm.), W 4.5 in.(11cm.), D 2.5 in.(6.5cm.)
Condition: Good, base may had been opened
are seventy-five forms of Mahakala. The style of this gilt bronze figure is attributed
to south Tibetan of 17th/18th century. The rounded style of the crown suggests
a Nepalese influence upon this finely cast image. Mahakala is a wrathful manesfactation
of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion. In this image his right hand is holding
a double edged sword to slay the perverters of the Buddhist faith, and left a
lasso to bind men of ignorance. For a similar figure from Eastern Tibet circa
18th century, see A. Neven, "Lamaistic Art", figure #99. See also Ulrich Von Schroeder,
"Indo-Tibetan Bronzes", pages 450-451 for more complicated tutelary deities mounted
on similar bases of Central Tibet and 16th/17th century. The image was cast in
the cire perdue (lost wax) method, and was intended to hold relics and also mantras.
The base was consecrated and sealed with a thin plate.