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Lot n° 285


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A GILT COPPER REPOUSSÉ PLAQUE OF VAJRAYOGINI, TIBET, 18TH-19TH CENTURY Portrayed in alidhasana atop two prostrate figures on a double lotus base with beaded upper rim, her left hand raised to hold a kapala from which she is drinking blood while the right brandishes a kartika, a khatvanga balancing on her left shoulder, the naked body adorned with beaded jewelry and a long garland of skulls, all backed by a tall flaming mandorla. The plaque is pierced with small apertures for mounting. Provenance: French trade. Acquired from a private collection. Condition: Very good condition with minor wear, small dents, minute nicks, light scratches, minor warping, encrustations, minuscule losses, small apertures for mounting. Weight: 881 g Dimensions: Length 41.8 cm Vajrayogini is one of the primary meditational deities of Tantric Buddhism and the female embodiment of enlightenment achieved through Tantric practice. She is associated with a highly secretive yogic practice which provides the practitioner a fast and direct path to enlightenment. She is the partner of Chakrasamvara and together, by the eleventh century, they became two of the most popular deities in Himalayan Tantric Buddhism. Here, the great goddess raises a blood-filled skull cup in her left hand symbolizing non-duality and wields a curved knife in her right, with which she cuts away ignorance. Her nudity represents the Buddhist concept of emptiness. Her wrathful demeanor is not intended to frighten, but rather to convey her unwavering nature. Auction result comparison: Type: Closely related Auction: Bonhams New York, 23 July 2020, lot 855 Estimate: USD 10,000 or approx. EUR 11,000 converted and adjusted for inflation at the time of writing Description: A pair of gilt copper alloy repoussé plaques, of Kurukulla and Vajravarahi, Tibet, 18th/19th century Expert remark: Compare the closely related subject, repoussé work, and gilding. Note the much smaller size (20.2 cm) and that the lot comprises two plaques.