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Tibetan Buddhist Art furniture & Antiques from the monasteries of the Ser Shong (Golden Valley)
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C014 Dragon Altar Table

Baronet 4 Tibet, Art Galleries, Dealers & Consultants, Vancouver, WA
left side of Tibetan Buddhist antique altar table, circa 1600s, with 24kt gold 4-noble truths design on side
Antique Tibetan Buddhist furniture with buddhist symbols on all 4 sides circa 1600s, dragons on front doors
Tibetan furniture hand painted with Buddhist symbol 4 petal flower on side representing the 4-nobole truths circa 1600s
left side
front
right side
 
back painted side of Tibetan Buddhist altar table with Infinite knot done in 24kt gold, circa 1600s
 
 
back
 

click on above small pictures to view larger pictures~use underlined words in text below to see additional views

This is a very nice Tibetan Buddhist Lama's altar, made to be placed in the center of the room: the two front doors, which open using the center divide, are typical of the 15 and 1600s, almost 2 dimensional; the sides are laid out nicely in the kyungbur, are monochrome with 24kt gold inside of the kyungbur designs. The top is not painted and has some paint residue, primarily on one corner; it was used in the painting work shops as a work table after its use as an altar. There is a dragon on each door; dragons have a Cintamani in each foot, and there is great detail in all aspects of the dragons; hair, whiskers, feathers, fiery spine, and eyes. The back of this table is nicely done in the Infinite Knot which morphs into durva grass; with the "T-wave" continuing around the entire table. Note that the "T-wave is partially carved and partially painted. One oddity of this table is there is kyungbur on the left door and it is absent on the right door.

Age: mid 1600s
Materials: Juniper, and other woods
 Dimensions H= 17 " W= 20.5 " D= 14.25 "

SOLD SHIPPED TO HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO

C014 Price $1985.00 PLUS SHIPPING ~ EAST COAST $154.00 ~  MIDWEST $145 ~/MTN STATES $139.00 ~   WEST COAST $132.00; other destinations, contact David@baronet4tibet.com for a quote

Iconography

The border just underneath the top is the "T-wave" or thunder wave. This is the thunder of the vajra (diamond scepter, dorje in Tibetan), symbolizing skilful means, compassion, samsara. This compassion is an active quality rather than mere sympathetic feelings not transformed into action. Compassion refers to action that is exactly consonant with whatever is occurring and that is not self-referential. The rest of the frame is done in a stylized trefoil; a cloud design that signifies the 3 Cintamani as the body, speech and mind of Buddha that the practitioner will possess.

The dragons on the front doors are flying above the mountains with durva grass floating around them.  Unlike its demonic European counterpart, the Tibetan dragon is a creature of great creative power; a positive icon, representing the strong male yang principle of heaven, change, energy, wealth and creativity. Dragons are shape shifters, able to transform at will, from as small as the silkworm to a giant that fills the entire sky. Dragons are depicted in one of two colors, green or brown.  The green, or azure dragon of Buddhism ascends into the sky at the spring equinox; it represents the light's increasing power in springtime and the easterly direction of the sunrise. The brown dragon is the autumn equinox, when it descends into a deep pool, encasing itself in mud until the next spring, but its spirit is still with the practitioner bringing wealth and health. The pearls, or jewels clutched in the claws of the dragon represent wisdom and health. The dragon can control the weather by squeezing the jewels to produce dew, rain or even downpours when clutched tightly. The dragon is the vehicle of Vairochana, the white Buddha of the center or the east.

The sides each have a very ornate 4-petaled flower with an extra sub-set of 4 petals. The 4-petaled flower is symbolic of the 4 Noble truths, the middle way and the first teaching of Buddha. 1. Life is suffering. 2. Ignorance is the cause of suffering.  3. The cessation of suffering is the goal of life because it transcends pains and pleasure.  4. The way to the cessation of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, which aligns with the eight spokes of the Dharma Wheel (represented by the sub-set of 4 petals.

The back has a grand Infinite knot, one of the Eight Auspicious symbols. The Eternal, or Infinite, Knot (Sanskrit, "Srivastsa"), is the classic icon for the concept of reality. The interwoven lines are graphic representations of the concept that everything in the world is interconnected, and therefore, dependent origination is the underlying reality of existence.  The knot also reflects the endless cycle of death and rebirth, mirroring infinity and the wisdom of the Buddha. It also symbolizes the Buddha's endless wisdom and compassion. The sanskrit term means 'beloved of the goddess Shri.' Shri refers to Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, wherein the shrivatsa term in particular is the curl of hair in a 8 looped knot on the breast of Vishnu (just to further complicate the origins).

 

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