Southeast Asian and early Chinese ceramics by Abhaya Asian Art Abhaya Asian Antiques



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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Pre 1900: Item # 883908

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Abhaya Asian Antiques
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G/F, North Flat, Lot 965 Peak Road West
Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
Tel/Fax 852-29847509

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Unique clear glass Sino Tibetan image of a Dakini, most likely cast from a mold. Basically even with the usual clay images it is problematic dating them as the molds may be old but the item recently made, this piece has traces of compacted soil, surface pitting and wear, as well as small Ming Dynasty Buddhist and Taoist clear glass charms having been documented, I feel a circa 100 year plus is a conservative dating. Having circumambulated the Jokhang on many occasions mainly to check out the Barkhor bazaar for unusual items like this, this is the first Tantric votive plaque I have ever encountered made of glass, even more unusual is that it is a depiction of a Dakini, since Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Yidams are the most frequently reproduced image. As Wikipedia has no copy write restrictions I will quote verbatim: “A dakini (Sanskrit: ḍâkinî; Tibetan: khandro; Wylie:mkha'-'gro-ma; TP:Kandroma;) is an elusive tantric deity that might best be described as a female embodiment of enlightened energy. In the Tibetan language, dakini is rendered Khandroma which means 'she who traverses the sky' or 'she who moves in space'. Sometimes the term is translated poetically as 'sky dancer' or 'sky walker’” Fundamentally Dakinis transform energy and are one of the most eclectic of an already very esoteric pantheon. She is easily recognized by the garland of skulls she wears about her neck, a cup also made of a human skull from which she drinks blood, symbolic of creating energy from nothingness and standing atop a human body signifying that she has triumphed over the ego. As is typical of Tibetan Iconography the ferocity the symbology belies a more subtle meaning. I have had this mounted in a traditional Thai style amulet case since she looks nice in there and it may be worn. H: 4.5cm/1.8in and W: 3cm/1.2in.