A carved, painted and gilt wooden manuscript cover
Tibetan manuscript covers, whose format was was inspired by Indian palm-leaf manuscripts, originally held sutra pages. Their designs and iconography are often indicative of the sacred texts they contained. Some designs are purely geometrical and some are figurative and symbolic; for instance, the presence of the amrita vase on lot 228 and 230 suggest a sutra relating to wealth and a long life. The elaborate design, quality of carving, and thickness of the wood reflect the effort made for important texts. Whereas in Nepal, the material for book covers varies, in Tibet they are almost all rendered in carved wood. Some manuscript covers were done by Nepali artists in Tibetan monasteries, often times evident in the painting style or palette, such as deep red and blue. Robert and Alice Piccus have been collecting Asian art ever since they lived in Hong Kong, when they actively began seeking out fine art works in the 1960s, becoming close with a number of scholars, dealers and collectors in the process. Their collection of Important Annamese Ceramics was sold in Christie's London on 7 December 1984, and Chinese Furniture sold in Christie's New York on 18 September 1997. They began collecting Tibetan manuscript covers and silver in the 1980s, then turning to previously ignored Tibetan rugs in the 1980s and 90s, publishing their collection in 2011. The following manuscript covers demonstrate the keen eye and distinguished taste of Robert and Alice Piccus. Christie’s and the consignors of lots 208-255 intend to donate a portion of their proceeds received from the sale of the lot to Himalayan Art Resources, a 501(c)(3) not-for profit charity. Please note that a buyers who purchase these lots will not be eligible for any charitable contribution deduction in relation to such purchase.
A carved, painted and gilt wooden manuscript cover

TIBET, 14TH CENTURY

Details
A carved, painted and gilt wooden manuscript cover
Tibet, 14th Century
The central section with lozenges outlined in wide bands, all with lightly etched floral design, with two indigo flaming triratnas at the center of the outer field along the longer sides, with a kirttimukha centered by scrolls along one side and red and gold floral scrolls on the other
29 ¾ x 12 ¼ in. (75.8 x 31.3 cm.)
Provenance
Robert and Alice Piccus Collection, California
Literature
Himalayan Art Resources (himalayanart.org), item no.24120
Sale room notice
Christie’s and the consignors of lots 208-255 intend to donate a portion of their proceeds received from the sale of the lot to Himalayan Art Resources, a 501(c)(3) not-for profit charity. Please note that a buyers who purchase these lots will not be eligible for any charitable contribution deduction in relation to such purchase.

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Anita Mehta
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