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C016-09 Antique Tibetan Buddhist Altar Table

Baronet 4 Tibet, Art Galleries, Dealers & Consultants, Vancouver, WA
cira 1500 Tibetan altar with double dorje in gold
Tibetan Furniture antique Buddhist altar circa 1600 with deer, tiger and yak painting Tibetan Buddhist art
antique Tibetan Buddhist altar side with double dorje in gold
left side
right side

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Great piece of antique Tibetan Buddhist furniture, the yak on the right door is an excellently depicted robust animal; long hair that is typical of the wild yak. Looking carefully at the two front doors the edges of the cloth backing of the painting is noticeable. This technique is a very common feature of painted Tibetan furniture, and one of the ways to tell if it is authentic. The two front doors, which open using the center divide, are typical of the 15 and 1600s. The sides are laid out nicely in a very delicate kyungbur, are monochrome with 24kt gold inside of the kyungbur designs. This thin kyungbur was the norm until about 1700, when it thicken up, becoming about 5 times the thickness going into the 20th century. The design on the sides is a Double Dorje with durva grass in the corners of the panel. The top, which is not painted, is attached with wooden dowels which are exposed on the top. This is one of those pieces that is not cleanable; this is generally noticed when an item is over 400 years old. The probability is that this table received much use in a warm room; the things that effect the soot and wax (coated with bee's wax when made and soot settles from incense and lamps) are temperature and exposure to natural light; items that were seldom used and kept in dark unheated rooms generally clean nicely, while items that would have been in northern exposed doorways will not clean at all and will have serious degrading of the pigments such as this altar: note that the interior of the doors is very dark and this usually indicates use in a temple. There is a small split in the top along a wood join. Comes with COA and iconography.

Age: circa 1500
Materials: Juniper, and other woods
 Dimensions H= 21.5 " W= 25 " D= 14.9 "

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C016-09 Price $1585.00 PLUS SHIPPING ~ EAST COAST $264.00 ~  MIDWEST $245 ~ MTN STATES $219.00 ~   WEST COAST $192.00; other destinations, contact David@baronet4tibet.com for a quote


The border just underneath the top is an unusual leaf design done in 24kt gold. The significance of this is unknown. The front 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 front doors have masterful art work: the left door has a tiger and a deer with some cumulus clouds; the right door a deer and a yak.  Until recently,  both domestic and wild yaks were found there. The yak is an essential part of the Tibetan diet, providing meat, milk, butter, and dried cheese.  The wool is spun to make rope and cloth; the hides are used for tents;  bags made from yak hides and fly whisks made from the tails have been exported for years.  In the hands of a deity, the fly whisk is a sign of compassion (e.g., "would not hurt a fly").  Yaks are also beasts of burden, pulling wagons and carts.

Each side has a Double Dorje design with durva grass at the corners. The upper panels of the sides also have durva grass, which is one of the Eight Bringers of Good Fortune, it is emphasized as such in the center motif.  


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