• Indian and Southeast Asian Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2195

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    16 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 795

    A gilt bronze figure of Ghantapa


    Price Realised  


    A gilt bronze figure of Ghantapa
    Tibet, 16th century
    Seated in dhyanasana on a lotus base, holding a vajra in his raised right hand and the other with a bell resting against his thigh, his robes inscribed with a floral and chaupur pattern, an antelope skin wrapped around his waist, adorned with armlets and necklaces studded with hardstones, raised chakras on the soles of the feet, the hair pulled into a high chignon and secured with a tiara and vajra, an inscription on the reverse
    10½ in. (27 cm.) high

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    Ghantapa, or the Celibate Bell-Holder, was a tantric master from the great monastic community of Nalanda. After being confronted by the King Pataliputra, Ghantapa and his wife morph into the gods Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi, and their child and wine jar become the vajra and bell. Here, Ghantapa is shown in his mortal form but holding the thunderbolt and bell of Chakrasamvara.


    Acquired in Hong Kong, 1998

    Pre-Lot Text