Mongolia, Palden Lhamo

18th century, Mongolia, Palden Lhamo and Makaravaktra, copper with lacquer and pigments, at the Liverpool World Museum (UK).

Magzor Gyalmo, a one-head and two-hand form of Palden Lhamo, identified by the sun disc over her navel, the crescent moon in her flaming hair and the (white) corpse she chews, sits sideways on a kiang or a mule led by Makaravaktra; her son’s hide is used as a saddle. She holds a vajra-tipped sandalwood staff in her right hand (missing here) and a skull cup filled with blood and a mustard seed (or magic substances) in the other, and wears a tiger skin loin cloth and other wrathful ornaments including a garland of severed heads. What looks like mountain peaks on the base is the symbol for vermilion, used to represent a sea of blood.

18th century, Mongolia, Palden Lhamo, incense paste (pulp from the bark of the incense tree, presumably) and pigments, at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The same deity, chewing a brown corpse. In Tibet, she usually wears two different earrings, one is a lion the other a snake. The above wears hoops with a foliate pendant that matches the panels of her crown.

 

Advertisements

Mongolia, a few female deities

17th century, Mongolia, Vajravarahi, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This is the aspect of buddha Vajrayogini with a sow’s head sticking out of her right temple. She stands with a foot on Kalatrari, who embodies ego, over a Mongolian-style single lotus base, holding a flaying knife and a skull cup, a ritual staff propped against her left shoulder. She is adorned with a skull crown, a garland of severed heads, and unusual bone  jewellery with a dharma wheel central motif. The way her right knee rests on a lotus sprouting from the base recalls much earlier Tibetan works with the same feature.

Her flaming hair is raised and shaped like a mitre. She has a third eye and protruding fangs that bite her lower lip.

17th or 18th century, Tibet or Mongolia, silvered and gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney (Australia).

Green Tara is seated on a (missing) lotus base, her right foot on a large flower fastened to the rim, holding the (missing) stem of a lotus in her left hand. The use of green paint for the flowers in conjunction with parcel-gilding suggests the item was made in Mongolia, or for a Mongolian patron.

Early 18th century, Mongolia, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

Ushnishavijaya, in her popular three-head and eight-hand form, holds a visvajra in her main hands. The lower right hand displays the gesture of supreme generosity, the other two hold a lotus with an effigy of Amitabha and an arrow. Her upper left hand displays the fear-allaying gesture, the other hands hold a bow and a long-life vase, a standard depiction in Tibet that extended to Mongolia.

18th century, Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt copper (alloy?), private collection, photo by Hanhai auction.

 

Mongolia, wrathful females

17th century, Mongolia, Magzor Gyalmo, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The crescent moon in her headdress and the sun disc over her navel identify this deity as Magzor Gyalmo, the wrathful aspect of Sarasvati, whose appearance is similar to that of Palden Lhamo but she only has two hands. She sits sideways on a khiang or a mule, using her son’s hide as a saddle and wears a skull crown, a garland of severed heads, a tiger skin loin cloth, bone and snake ornaments. In her right hand she wields a (missing) vajra-tipped staff and in the other hand she holds a skull cup filled with magic substances or  blood and a mustard seed.

18th century, Mongolia, Magzor Gyalmo (labelled Lhamo), parcel-gilt brass (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Hanhai auction.

The same distinctive features and the vajra-tipped staff make this figure likely to be Magzor Gyalmo, riding across a sea of blood.

18th century, Mongolia, Palden Lhamo, at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Art

This image was published in a previous post and thought to possibly depict Magzor Gyalmo because of the attributes in her two hands, and because Palden Lhamo has four hands. However, she is normally accompanied by Makaravaktra, who leads her mule, and Simhavaktra who walks behind, and she doesn’t have a crescent moon in her headdress or a sun disc on her navel. The above seems to be, therefore, a mixture of the two.

18th century, Mongolia, Makaravaktra (labelled Makaramukha), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Unlike the dakini  Makaramukha, who wears a skull crown and stands on one foot, Makaravaktra, the makara-faced attendant to Palden Lhamo, stands on both feet and doesn’t wear a skull crown. Her right arm is raised to hold the bridle of Palden Lhamo’s mount, the left hand is held against her heart.

19th century, Mongolia, Rishamukha, silver with turquoise and coral inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A late but rare and well-crafted sculpture of this bear-headed dakini, blending Tibetan features such as the use of silver with turquoise and coral inlay with Chinese-style accessories, like the celestial scarf with very sharp bends and the dharma wheel breast plate with pendants.

Mongolia, Vajravarahi and Chakrasamvara

18th century, Mongolia, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection.

18th century, Mongolia, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments, private collection.

This form of Vajrayogini has the appearance of a dakini, her legs in a dancing posture, holding a sword or a flaying knife (missing here) in her right hand and a skull cup in the other. There should be a sow’s head sticking out of her own. She has a khatvanga resting on her left arm and is adorned with a garland of freshly severed human heads, a five-skull crown, Chinese-style jewellery and celestial scarf. There is a small buddha at the top of her orange flaming hair. She stands on a human corpse. Vajravarahi is the consort of Chakrasamvara.

18th century, Mongolia, Chakrasamvara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, private collection.

Chakrasamvara is rarely depicted on his own. This form has four heads, 2 legs, 12 arms. The hands crossed over his heart hold a thunderbolt and a bell (vajra and ghanta). His other hands hold the ends of an elephant hide behind his head, a flaying knife and a skull cup, an axe and a folded lasso, a trident and a staff (khatvanga), drums and severed heads. He is adorned with a skull crown, elaborate Chinese-style jewellery inlaid with turquoise, two animal skins around his waist, a belt with raining-jewel pendants. Each face has a third eye and bared fangs, the hair is gathered into a chignon topped with a gold finial. He stands on two victims (missing here).

 

Mongolia, Green Tara (2)

18th century, Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie's.

18th century, Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie’s.

Green Tara holds the long stems of lotuses with her right hand in the varada mudra and the other in the kartari mudra, one leg pendant, the foot resting on a lotus  steming from the single-lotus base with a plaint plinths, upward-going serrated petals, incised filaments and anthers. She is adorned with a five-leaf crown, coarse beaded jewellery, sacred cord and belt, a coarsely pleated celestial scarf. The hem of her long dhoti is incised with a floral motif and scrolls. The eyes are neither inlaid with silver or painted.

same as before.

same as before.

The crudely carved facial features, bulky jewellery and incised hem of the lower garment, that covers part of the double-lotus base, are far-removed from the Zanabazar style. Only the double-lotus base is similar.

Mongolia, White Tara (2)

17th-18th century, Mongolia, White Tara, gilt copper alloy and pigment, photo by Christie's.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, White Tara, gilt copper alloy and pigment, Zanabazar style, photo by Christie’s.

White Tara is seated in the vajra position, doing the gesture of charity with her right hand and the gesture of discord with the other while holding the stem of a lotus flower.

17th-18th c., Mongolia, white Tara, gilt c.a., 24,7 cm, Zanabazar style, palms+soles incised, head

She has a third eye and an effigy of a buddha (probably Amitabha) in her headdress. Her tall Indian-style chignon is topped with a lotus bud finial. She wears a low crown with five lotus buds linked with beading and adorned with rosettes and wavy ribbons. Her large earrings are typical of the period and area. The hair and facial features are painted with pigments.

17th-18th c., Mongolia, White Tara, gilt c.a., 24,7 cm, Zanabazar style, palms+soles incised, torso

There is an eye in the palm of each hand and on the sole of each feet. Her tight-fitting upper garment  ends in a cascade of pleats across her chest.

Mongolia, Green Tara – two styles

18th century, Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie's.

18th century, Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie’s.

18th c., Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt c.a., 24,7 cm, Zanabazar style, lotus blossom

Seated with a leg pendant, Green Tara holds an upright vajra in one hand a large lotus blossom in the other. Her long dhoti is held in place with a jewelled belt.

18th c., Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt c.a., 12,7 cm, 3 eyes, face

She is adorned with a small crown, large earrings and coarse beaded jewellery. There is a piece of cloths folded into thick pleats over her left breast.

Late 17th century, Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt copper alloy, photo by Sotheby's.

Late 17th century, Mongolia, Green Tara, gilt copper alloy and pigments, thought to be from Zanabazar workshop, photo by Sotheby’s.

This is (an earlier and) far more elaborate sculpture which depicts her on a Pala-style double-lotus base with a large row of beading at the bottom and a richly incised tier at the top, holding two Pala-style lotuses and doing the varada mudra (charity) with her right hand and the kartari mudra (discord) with the other. Her face and the upper part of her body have been painted with white pigment, something rarely seen on metal sculptures.

incisions

Her long dhoti is richly incised with a lotus motif and held in place with a beaded belt. Her celestial scarf, folded into thick pleats, rests across her legs and over the sides of the Mongolian-style pedestal.

effigy

There is an effigy of Amitabha in her headdress and a raised oblong urna on her forehead.