Gilt Bronze Yamadharmaraja
Gilt Bronze Yamadharmaraja, cast in two parts with the Lord of Death standing in pratyalidhasana on a recumbent bull crushing a man lying on his back, his head is that of a ferocious bull with bulging eyes, snarling mouth and flared nostrils, he is wearing his attribute the dharma wheel and a garland of severed human heads tied around his waist, with traces of red pigment and supported on a rectangular lotus pedestal.
Period: 17th century. Height: 18 cm.
A Tibeto-Chinese gilt bronze figure of Yama Dharmaraja
Yama Dharmaraja was the Lord of Death in ancient Indian mythology but was adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as a Dharma (learning) protector. This fearsome god (known as the Outer or External form) is therefore one of the major protectors of Buddhist practice who confronts outer obstacles and protects practitioners (Sangha) from misfortune. The bull upon which he stands is ravaging the body of ignorant life beneath him.
Provenance: Private collection, New York, America
Auction result comparison:
Auction: Christies New York, 14 Sep 2010, lot 111
Price: $8,750, –
Description: A gilt bronze figure of Yamadharmaraja, TIBET, 17TH CENTURY
Expert remark: Compare the related pose, gilt, and details. Note the equivalent size (18 cm).
*The figures and objects, which are predominantly made from bronze and wood, reflect the high level of craft production in those regions and the importance of these objects as works of great spiritual significance. The production of these pieces, which spans a period of more than one thousand years, and has continued into the twentieth century, attests to the enduring nature of the spiritual ideas which these figures and emblems embody. Buddhism is one of the world’s great religious traditions.