This book cover is deeply carved on hardwood, a relatively rare resource in central Tibet. Depicted in the center, Amitayus seated on a lion throne, backed by an aureole, and flanked by two standing deities and elephants. An architectural arch with Garuda and two deities are at the top in the center. Four Amitayus seat on each side on lotus thrones within curling foliate circles. All within a beaded band and two layers of lotiform border, and are all in deep relief and gilt. The repetitive composition of Amitayus may identify it as a cover of the sutra of contemplation of Buddha Amitayus.
Book cover from an unidentified manuscript Tibet 13th-14th century Carved and painted wood
This glorious manuscript cover survives with its original gilding and red pigments. Richly carved with classical geometric patterns on the outer surface, this cover depicts the five tathagatas, the five cosmic Buddhas of Vajrayana Buddhism. The painted inner surface features the five Tathgathas: Akshobhya, Ratnasabhava, Vairocana, Amitabha, and Amoghasiddhi, each supported on a lotus throne within ovals of scrolling lotus plates. This type of decoration of the inner surface of the cover in gold on red is thought to have been common in the library of Sakya monastery. Compare to two almost identical covers published in Rossi & Rossi, Early Tibetan Manuscript Covers, 1996 Catalog Plate 25, and from the British Museum collection (OA1983,5-26,1). They are marked with the third letter and sixth letter of the Tibetan alphabet respectively, and all three inner surfaces share the same treatment of detailing. With the close similarities, it might be that they were originally part of the same series of texts.
A soapstone figure of Mahakala Panjaranatha Tibet 17th century
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Asia Week NY 2020
2020 EXHIBITIONS & OPEN HOUSE
MARCH 12-21 God/Goddess
Open House Weekend: March 14-15 Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm, By Appointment Only
Hours Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm (By Appointment Only)
Opening Party Thursday, March 12, 6-8pm, By Appointment Only
GALLERY TALK by Laura Weinstein: A Brief Introduction to Indian and Himalayan Art Tuesday, March 17, 10:30am Canceled.