Tibet, Shri Devi (8)

18th century, Tibet, Shri Devi, bronze and red lacquer, private collection, photo on pba.

Shri Devi (Palden Lhamo in Tibet) refers to various female entities. Magzor Gyalmo has two hands in which she holds a vajra-tipped sandalwood staff (missing here) and a skull cup filled with blood, magic substances and a mustard seed. She rides across a sea of blood in which body parts are floating, seated sideways on her kiang, using the flayed skin of her dead son as a saddle. She has a third eye, chews a miniature corpse and wears a skull crown, a garland of severed heads and bone ornaments.

17th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Christie’s

18th century, Tibet, Shri Devi, gilt bronze (and red pigment), private collection, photo on Duke’s.

Two distinctive features are a sun disc over her navel and a crescent moon in her headdress.

18th century, Tibet, Lhamo, wood, private collection, photo by Nye &Co as below.

17th-18th century, Tibet (or China?), Palden Lhamo, gilt bronze, on Peaceful Wind.

18th century, Tibet, Lhamo, bronze (copper alloy with cold gold and red pigment), private collection, photo on Nye&Company .

Like the four-armed Palden Lhamo, she usually carries a bag of disease, red curses, a pair of dice at the front of her saddle and a ball of variegated wool at the back.

18th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Californian Asian Art.

We saw a Densatil plaque with a similar iconography. The deity sits on a prostrate mount, wielding a sword and holding a jewel-spitting mongoose in her main hands, like Dorje Rabtenma, who normally has two hands only. In her other hands she holds a tally-stick and a branch with a flower.

18th-19th century, Tibet, Dorje Rabtenma, gilt and lacquered copper alloy, private collection, photo on Van Ham.

On this late example the lower right hand holds a kila peg.

Advertisements

Tibet, Shri Devi (7)

15th century, Tibet, Lhamo (Magzor Gyalmo), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Hollywood Galleries.

A two-hand form of Shri Devi, Magzor Gyalmo, the wrathful aspect of Sarasvati, rides a khyang and holds a skull cup filled with magic substances in her left hand and a staff (missing here) in the other.

She chews a miniature corpse.

She sits on a human hide and usually carries a bag of disease, a pair of dice fastened with a snake, a ball of wool.

15th century, Tibet, (Palden) Lhamo, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

Palden Lhamo, a wrathful aspect of Lakshmi, has four arms and holds various attributes, always including a sword. Her khyang may be lying down.

15th century, Central Tibet, Densatil, Shri Devi (Palden Lhamo), gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, collection of the Asia Society, photo on issuu

Circa 17th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Marie-Catherine Daffos on aaoarts

This unusual work depicts her seated on a prostrate mount, holding the hilt of a (broken) sword, a severed head, a bow. Her empty hand may have held a spear.

Tibet, Shri Devi (6)

Shri Devi, of Hindu origin, refers to various female entities in their wrathful form, including the four-handed Palden Lhamo, Patron of Lhasa and protectress of Tibet, and the two-handed Magzor Gyalmo.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Magzor Gyalmo (labelled Palden Lhamo), gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Drouot.

A wrathful form of Sarasvati, Magzor Gyalmo has a blue body, one head with three eyes, two hands, in which she holds a skull cup and a sandalwood staff (missing here), a sun disc over her navel and a crescent moon in her flaming hair, and she chews a body. Like Palden Lhamo, she rides a mule or a kiang sideways, using the hide of hear dead son as a saddle, across a sea of blood and is adorned with a skull crown, garland of severed heads, bone jewellery…

18th century, Tibet, Magzor Gyalmo, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Renaud Montméat.

and may have five magical weapons including a tally stick incised with a geometrical pattern fastened or tucked into her belt.

18th c., Tibet, Magzor Gyalmo, lab. Yama, gilt bronze, 18 cm, Paris Sothebys

18th century, Tibet, Magzor Gyalmo, (labelled Yama), gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The crescent moon in her headdress is sometimes topped with a triple gem.

Apart from the tally stick, her magical weapons are a pair of divination dice, a bundle of red curses, a bag of disease, a ball of variegated thread, suspended from poisonous serpents that adorn the saddle of her mule.

Tibet, Shri Devi (5)

18th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, gilt copper alloy, from the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas (USA) (labelled 19th century China on Himalayan Art Resources, item 58808).

A common form of Shri Devi in Tibet, she has one head and two hands in which she holds a sandalwood staff and a skull cup; there is a sun disc over her navel; she rides a mule or a kiang sideways, using the corpse of her dead son as a saddle. She always chews a corpse. She travels across a sea of blood and is often adorned with snakes around her neck and in her hair, in this case large cobra snakes are wound around her forearms. Her mount is also adorned with snakes. She usually has a crescent moon in hair flaming hair and may carry a score stick hanging from her belt, together with a pair of divination dice threaded onto a snake that hangs from her saddle, a ball of variegated thread (hanging from the rear of her saddle) and a bag of diseases. The bag of diseases is derived from an early weapon consisting in a skin bag filled with organic remains from people who had died of a contagious disease. This was thrown into the water supply of a besieged city to poison it.

    

17th-18th century, Tibet (or Mongolia?), Palden Lhamo, copper alloy with turquoise, coral and pigments, at the Glenbow Museum in Canada.

The same figure, with two attendants,  Makaravaktra (the makara-headed deity who leads her kiang) and Simhavaktra (lion-headed deity) normally associated with Palden Lhamo.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Waddington’s.

 

 

Tibet, Shri Devi (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…).

 

 

Tibet, Shri Devi (3)

15th century, Tibet, Densatil plaque, gilt copper alloy, Palden Lhamo, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Same subject as above, at the Freer Sackler Gallery (USA).

15th century, Tibet, Densatil, Palden Lhamo, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay and pigments,  at the Freer Sackler Gallery (USA).

We have seen this form of Palden Lhamo (Tibetan form of Shri Devi) in a previous post. Usually referred to as Dorje Rabtenma, she is easy to recognise as she brandishes a sword in her right hand and holds a jewel-spitting mongoose against her left hip.

15th-c-tibet-densatil-dorje-rabtenma-mongoose-detail-newar-artist-gilt-c-a-stonespig-572-cm-freer-sackler

She has the usual adornments, including a garland of severed human heads and a skull crown.

17th century, Tibet, Magzor Gyalmo, stone, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

15th century, Tibet, Shri Devi (Magzor Gyalmo), stone, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Another form of the deity also with one head and two hands, but holding a skull cup filled with blood in her left hand and riding her mule or kiang sideways. According to the texts, Magzor Gyalmo raises a sandalwood staff tipped with a vajra with her other hand.

17th century, Tibet, Magzor Gyalmo, gilt metal, private collection, on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th century, Tibet, Magzor Gyalmo, gilt metal, private collection, on Himalayan Art Resources.

There is a sun disc over her navel and a crescent moon in her flaming hair. She wears a tiger skin loin cloth and uses the skin of her dead son as a saddle.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

On the last two images, her mule/donkey also wears a garland of severed heads.

18th century, Tibet, Palden Lhamo, polychrome wood, private collection, published on astamangala.com

18th century, Tibet, Magzor Gyalmo (labelled Palden Lhamo), polychrome wood, private collection, published on astamangala.com.

She usually wears a snake belt and snake jewellery.

Tibet, Shri Devi (2)

15th century, Tibet, from Densatil Monastery, Palden Lha-mo, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, published by Christie's.

15th century, Tibet, from Densatil Monastery, labelled Palden Lhamo, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, published by Christie’s.

Palden Lhamo, the Tibetan form of Indian goddess Shri Devi, is the only female dharmapala (proctector of the faith) and the main protectress of Tibet, and patron saint of Lhasa. She has one head with three eyes, two or four hands, in which she holds various implements, usually including a flaming sword. She rides a mule or a kiang (wild donkey) and sits on her dead son’s hide. She wears a garland of freshly severed heads and a tiger skin around her waist. In her Dorje Rabtenma form, she holds a flaming sword and a mongoose that spits jewels, as the above figure, who is adorned with a beaded belt, stone-inlaid jewellery and a matching crown with a sun disc and moon crescent on top of the central panel.

16th century, Tibet, Sri Devi or Palden Lhamo, gilt c.a., at the gTsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

16th century, Tibet, Shri Devi, gilt copper inlaid with stones, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.