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A rare articulated bronze mandala of Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi
PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
A rare articulated bronze mandala of Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi

NORTHEASTERN INDIA, LATE PALA PERIOD, 13TH CENTURY

Details
A rare articulated bronze mandala of Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi
Northeastern India, late Pala period, 13th century
The deities on the center of a lotus flower, his four faces with a high crown topped with a vajra and holding a vajra in his principle hands and assorted implements in the secondary ones, she holding a skullcup and curved knife, surrounded by eight movable petals each with four attendants, all supported by an elaborate openwork stalk composed of floral and leaf motifs with serpent kings Nanda and Upananda seated inside over a circular base with braided rims, cold gold remaining on various figures
16½ in. (42 cm.) high
Provenance
Acquired in London, circa 1992

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Lot Essay

This remarkable and iconic concept of a lotiform mandala has articulated petals that close to form a lotus bud. First conceived in Northeastern India during the Pala Period (9th-13th centuries), very few examples remain from the period and are generally of smaller size. A revival was sparked in China during the early 15th century inspiring splendid gilt bronze examples during the Yongle period. The construction is a technical tour-de-force, with the stem containing an iron armature and mechanically joined to the seperately cast base; for a smaller and incomplete example in the Pan Asian Collection, see P. Pal, The Sensuous Immortals, 1977, p. 96-97, cat. no. 57.

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