A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BEGTSE CHEN
A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BEGTSE CHEN
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A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BEGTSE CHEN

QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)

Details
A GILT-BRONZE FIGURE OF BEGTSE CHEN
QIANLONG PERIOD (1736-1795)
The figure is well cast, standing defiantly with one foot on the abdomen of a horse and the other on a man, all above the lotus pedestal. He is wearing armour, with right hand wielding a sword with scorpion handle, and left holding a heart up to his gaping mouth. His ferocious expression enhanced by flame-like hair and skull tiara.
12 1/2 in. (32 cm.) high overall

Brought to you by

Marco Almeida (安偉達)
Marco Almeida (安偉達) SVP, Senior International Specialist, Head of Department

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Lot Essay

Begtse Chen is one of the eight Dharmapala, associated with the Nyingma and Geluk orders. He is named for the great copper coat of mail he wears, which is prominently featured in this dynamic sculpture.

Compare to an almost identical example formerly in the Prince Ukhtomsky Collection, and now in the Hermitage Museum Collection, illustrated in Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet, New York, 2000, p.307, no. 120. Compare also with a Qianlong-marked gilt-bronze figure of Begtse Chen in the Beijing Palace Museum Collection, illustrated in Classics of the Forbidden City: Tibetan Buddhist Sculpture, Beijing, 2009, no.171, and an 18th-century gilt-bronze figure of Hayagriva with a similar style, accompanied by an yellow label that can be translated as “…Collected in the 26th day of Eighth Month of the Fifty-eighth Year of Qianlong reign…”, illustrated in the same volume, no. 177. (fig. 1)

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