Tibet, Marichi

18th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

18th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This Pala-style sculpture represents the deity in her three-head and eight-arm form standing on a lotus over a stepped pedestal with legs decorated with wild boars and a small deity, surrounded by a halo of flames topped with a stupa with a buddha on its base and a turquoise-inlaid finial. She has two angry faces and a boar face, there is a four-armed deity with a boar face standing behind her.

Undated (18th century onwards), Tibet, Marichi, gilt copper alloy, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (USA).

Undated (18th century onwards), Tibet, Marichi, gilt copper alloy, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (USA).

Tibetan sculptures of the goddess of dawn are few and usually recent (18th century onwards). The above is seated and has three heads (a human one and two boar ones) and six hands, in which she holds various implements including a needle and thread in the main ones. Her hair is gathered in a three-tier chignon topped with a finial.

Same as before.

Same as before.

This is a Chinese-style version of the kalpoktam form,  with eight hands and  two human heads and a boar head, seated in the vajra position. The top hands probably held two mirrors, the next ones down would have held a bow and an arrow or a kila, and the lower ones hold a bell and a rectangular object, possibly a manuscript, while the main hands are in the praying gesture.

Same as before.

Same as before.

A similar image with the bell and the manuscript in the reverse position and the main hands slightly apart. The heads wear a five-leaf crown and the hair is gathered in a tall chignon topped with a finial. On all of these, the draping of the dhoti corresponds to the Chinese style.

 

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