16th century Guhyasamaja mandala breaks world record

A Guhyasamaja mandala produced in a Tibetan monastery in the 16th century has sold for $929,000 at Bonhams New York.

It achieved an increase of 54.8% on the $600,000 estimate, setting a new world record for a 16th century Tibetan painting.

Bonhams mandala 32 panel
The mandala has set a new world record for a 16th century Tibetan painting

The large cloth is thought to have been commissioned by Kugna Sonam (1485-1533), head of the Sakyo Buddhist order, between 1520 and 1533 for Ngorchen Konchog Lhundrub (1497-1557) - the 10th abbot of the Ngor monastery.

It features a large central image of Guhyasamaja seated in the lotus position and surrounded by a variety of gods drawn from the Buddhist pantheon.

A gilt copper figure of Yogambara made $785,000, up 214% on a $250,000 estimate.

The statue stands at seven inches tall and displays the titular three headed, six armed god seated on a lotus flower embracing the figure of his consort Jnanadakini.

It was created in the 13th century and is one of only a handful of surviving examples.

A copper alloy figure of Avalokiteshvara produced in Tibet in the 12th century made $569,000 against a $500,000 estimate - an increase of 13.8%.

It is thought to have formed the centrepiece of a shrine due to its size and the complexity of its casting. Avalokiteshvara is one of the central bodhisattvas and symbolises compassion.

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