A Carved Wood Manuscript Cover
Tibet, 15th Century
Finely carved in deep relief depicting Prajnaparamita at the center of an elaborate aureole flanked by Akshobya and Vairocana in smaller niches and surrounded by numerous smaller Buddhas and Bodhisattvas including Manjushri and Vajrapani, all encircled by scrollwork and three outer borders centered by Padmasambhava at top and Jambhala at bottom; one side carved with a Bodhisattva within scrollwork; the reverse with rectangular cartouche bearing an 11-line Tibetan text of laudatory verses and invocations to the Six Paramitas by the donors of the manuscript within a red painted border
9¼ x 28¾ in. (23.4 x 73 cm.)
The presence of the inscriptions and praises to protector deities indicates that this cover would have been on the bottom of the manuscript, guarding the Buddha's teachings.