Tibet, Palden Lhamo (4)

15th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, gilt copper alloy, thought to be from the Densatil Monastery, at the Asia Society Museum

15th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, gilt copper alloy, thought to be from the Densatil Monastery, at the Asia Society Museum in New York (USA).

This is one of the many variants of Shri Devi (Palden Lhamo in Tibet) with one head and four arms. She holds two swords, a skull cup and a missing object.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shri Devi, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shri Devi, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

16th-17th-c-tibet-shri-devi-4-arms-mule-close-up-christies

The above holds the hide of an elephant, over a human skin, across her back with her upper hands. She has a flaying knife and a skull cup in her lower hands. She sits sideways on her dead son’s skin, which she uses as a saddle to ride her mule.

16th-17th-c-tibet-shri-devi-4-arms-mule-elephant-skin-face-christies

There is a crescent moon topped with a sun disc on top of chignon. Her five-skull crown is adorned with foliate panels and beaded festoons.

17th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, silver with turquoise inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by christie's.

17th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, silver with turquoise inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by christie’s.

Accompanied by Makaravaktra, the small attendant standing near the plain oval base, this one holds a sword and a skull cup on one side, a (missing) trident and a spear on the other (which, in theory, corresponds to her Dudsolma form).

17th-c-tibet-palden-lhamo-sil-turq-15-cm-4-arms-oval-base-sword-skull-cup-spear-elephant-skin-chain-on-feet-braid-fastened-with-snake-close-up-christies She has three bulging eyes and some protruding fangs. Her flaming hair and eyebrows are painted with orange pigment, her skull crown and jewellery are inlaid with hard stones. There is a garland of severed heads around her neck.

17th-c-tibet-palden-lhamo-sil-turq-15-cm-4-arms-oval-base-sword-skull-cup-spear-elephant-skin-chain-on-feet-braid-fastened-with-snake-patterned-skirt-flayed-human-skin-christies

The texts that describe Palden Lhamo sometimes mention a mule (as on the first picture) and sometimes a wild donkey (as on the second picture, or so it seems…).

 

 

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