16th century Tibetan bronze realises 64% increase on estimate

A 16th century Tibetan gilt bronze figure of Vajrabhairava and Vajravetali has sold for $989,000 at Christie's New York.

It made $989,000 against a $600,000 estimate (an increase of 64.8%) in an auction of the Sporer Collection of Himalayan Sculpture on September 16.

Tibetan Bronze Christies
The bronze depicts Vajrabhairava with Vajravetali

The auction house explains: "Vajrabhairava, one of the principal meditational deities of Tibetan Buddhism, is the ferocious, thirty-four-armed manifestation of Manjushri, the God of Wisdom.

"The present work shows him in embrace with Vajravetali, symbolizing the dualistic totality encompassing compassion (embodied by the male) and wisdom (associated with the female)."

Another important gilt bronze made $785,000.

This piece was produced in Nepal during the 12th or 13th century and depicts Shiva Vinadhara and Parvati.

It provides an excellent illustration of the combination of Buddhism and Hinduism that flourished in Nepal during this period.

Christie's comments: "Careful attention has been paid to every detail, such as the snakes that adorn Shiva, the naturalistic draping of Parvati's dhoti and sashes, and the lifelike physiognomy of the bull and lion.

"This level of refinement combined with the large size, exquisite beauty, and state of preservation of all four figures makes this a very rare and important work surviving from early Nepal."

A 15th century Tibetan statue made $209,000 at Bonhams on September 14.

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