Details
A BRONZE VAJRA
TIBET, CIRCA 17TH CENTURY
The rounded eight-pronged vajra with knob center finely cast in bronze
5 ½ in. (13.9 cm.) long
Provenance
Collection of Robert H. Ellsworth, New York, by 1995, believed to have been gifted by a friend in 1984
Special notice

This lot is offered without reserve.

Brought to you by

Gemma Sudlow
Gemma Sudlow

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

The vajra, a symbol of indestructability and power, is one of the primary ritual symbols in Tibetan Buddhism. Derived from Sanskrit and translates to both thunderbolt and diamond, the vajra consists of two sets of prongs from which lotus petals emanate, flanking a central sphere. Often used in combination with a bell, which represents feminine wisdom, the vajra symbolizes the masculine attribute of skillful means or compassion.

Beautifully cast revealing an iron armature with eight prongs, the present work was given to Mr. Ellsworth by a dear friend who, having learned that Mr. Ellsworth was ill, sent the vajra from his personal shrine to Mr. Ellsworth with instructions to sleep with it under his pillow. Two weeks later, Mr. Ellsworth called his friend to report he had made a full recovery. From that point on, the vajra remained on Mr. Ellsworth’s bedroom headboard, resting at the feet of a seated yogi (lot 8). Vajras such as this would have been utilized by mystical adepts, like this seated yogi, as part of their ritual practice.

More from The Collection of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth Part I - Masterworks Including Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art, Chinese and Japanese Works of Art

View All
View All