Sino-Tibetan Gilt Bronze Green Tara Figure


A gilt-bronze figurine of Green Tara, with downcast eyes and a gently smiling mouth. Her hair sits high on her head, which is decorated by a crown with carnelian cabochon detailing. She sits cross-legged, her right leg stretched out in lalitasana. She holds a sphere in her left hand. She wears decadent jewellery, with inset turquoise and carnelian cabochons, and sits on a lotus flower-shaped base. The statuette features a hollow lower section used to contain Buddhist relics, which were placed inside before sealing it with its now lost base. The reverse of the statue displays a faux Chinese six-character Yongle reign mark.

Date: 19th-20th century AD
Provenance: Ex Abelita family collection, acquired 1980-2015.
Condition: Very good condition with missing base.


Tara was a Buddhist goddess who had many different forms, and was particularly popular in Nepal, Tibet, and Mongolia. She was the feminine equivalent of the bodhisattva (“Buddha-to-be”), as well as the guardian of navigation and earthly travel, as well as spiritual travel along the path of enlightenment. The Vitarka Mudra is called the Gesture of Teaching, and is one of the most widespread mudra. It symbolizes the transmission of teachings and it can be done with both the right and the left hand. The palm of the hand is turned outwards to symbolize, not only the teaching through the discussion, but also without the use of words. The thumb and forefinger touch each other to form a circle that represents the flow of energy. The other fingers remain straight up. Statuettes, such as this beautiful example, were placed in temples and shrines, as a way to accrue the merit needed for good karma in Buddhist religion.

Weight 1206.9 g
Dimensions L 13.5 x W 9.2 x H 20.2 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item number 50.138.3

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