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A gilt bronze figure of Tsongkhapa
A gilt bronze figure of Tsongkhapa


A gilt bronze figure of Tsongkhapa
Tibet, 15th century
Seated in Lotus Position on a double-lotus base with beaded rims and hands in dharmachakramudra, wearing heavy inner and outer patchwork robes incised with a diamond stippled pattern at the hem, the smiling face with downcast eyes, his hair cropped short, flanked on either side by a lotus stem bearing a silver or iron sword and a lapis lazuli-inlaid manuscript, the base plate incised with double vajra
7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm.) high
Acquired from Spink and Sons, Ltd, London, circa 1992
Spink and Son Ltd., Light of Compassion, Buddhist Art from Nepal and Tibet, 1997, p. 24-25, fig. 12
Light of Compassion, Buddhist Art from Nepal and Tibet, Spink and Son, Ltd, London, 18 September - 16 October, 1997

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Lot Essay

Tsongkhapa, also known as Je Rinpoche, was born in the Amdo region of Tibet in 1357. He was a highly respected Buddhist scholar and is credited as being the founder of the Gelug Buddhist sect, known as the "Yellow Hat" sect, one of the most powerful and widespread in the Buddhist religion.

Tsongkhapa is revered as an incarnation of the bodhisattva Manjushri, and was reported to have seen and conversed with the deity from a young age. The current bronze example can be seen holding the stems of lotus flowers supporting a sword and book, which are the prime attributes of bodhisattva Manjushri.

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