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Lot *26


Estimated Value:

2.000 € - 3.000 €


11.000 €


China, Dolo Nor, Inner Mongolia, 19th ct.
H. 49,5 cm
Large altar sculpture of the Dharma Protector Mahakala, of whom there are over sixty different emanations. He is considered the active compassion aspect of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the fulfiller of the aspirations of all sentient beings. His appearance in this emanation is night-black, like the clouds at the end of time. He wears one face, has six arms and stares fearfully out of three red-rimmed eyes. His mouth is open and shows sharp fangs, his tongue is curled, he laughs loudly. Eyebrows and beard are fiery, as is his ruffled hair, in which - behind his fivefold crown of wisdom - a green snake coils. By emitting a fearsome roar of thunder, he destroys all enemy gods like obstacles and remains in the midst of a blazing fire of wisdom. All the attributes in his hands are missing. His first pair of hands holds a cleaver and a blood-filled skull bowl, symbolic of the realisation of method and wisdom. His third pair of hands, according to iconography, holds a prayer wreath of dried human skulls strung on human entrails, the heads representing "form" and the entrails symbolising the illusory nature of all phenomena. The trident staff he carries in his uppermost left hand impales the three mental poisons: Avarice, Hatred and Pride. The right hand of the middle pair of hands played with a damaru (double skull drum) whose sound is said to summon buddhas, bodhisattvas and dakinis, and the left middle hand holds a vajra rope for catching and binding enemies. The deity is decorated with bone ornaments and a large dharma wheel in front of the chest, and usually a snake coils around its neck. A tiger skin is wrapped around the loins. With both legs Mahakala stands above the king of the enemy gods - Ganapati (elephant-headed Ganesha) - on a spreading lotus, on whose stamens lies the sun disc. Coloured and partly gilded copper-repousssé, composed of several parts.
North German private collection, assembled prior 2007
Very slightly chipped, wear, attributes lost