Tibetan buddhist Temple
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Tibetan Buddhist Art furniture & Antiques from the monasteries of the Ser Shong (Golden Valley)
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C004 Altar Table
Baronet 4 Tibet, Art Galleries, Dealers & Consultants, Vancouver, WA
painted Tibetan buddhist altar painted Tibetan buddhist altar painted Tibetan buddhist altar
right side
left side

Click on the pictures above to see larger views.

Antique Tibetan Buddhist hand painted furniture that was used as a temple altar. The painting and kyunbgur are extremely good, especially considering the age it is a very well done. The dating is what we believe to be a conservative date. The mirrors on the front doors of the Tibetan altar table look to have some type of image in the mirror that was faintly presented. It is a very clean piece, with some color-loss, which is noticeable on the front-doors.  The art work is excellent on this antique Buddhist altar, the bottom and side panels and the front frame are done in kyungbur in the mono-chromes that typify Tibetan antique furniture of this age. The interior has a shelf that is fixed in place and this is highly unusual. The area behind the front panels done in blue is open and accessible from the front. The hinges of the doors are wood-pegs in the doors that fit into a hole in the underside of the top & slide into a groove on the frame rail above the base rail. The door-pull is the vertical trim in the center of the two doors.

Age: circa 1400s
Dimensions (overall)    H=21 W=25" D=15" approx


` get questions answered, contact David by emailing david@baronet4tibet.com

C004 Price $1995.00 plus shipping ~EAST COAST $154.00 ~  MIDWEST $145 ~/MTN STATES $139.00 ~   WEST COAST $132.00; other destinations, contact us  for a quote.  


The front doors have gold mirrors with ribbons attached to the wall hooks. Below the mirrors are Cintamani, red coral, elephant tusks, the Queen's earrings, and some yogurt on the left side door. The mirror is an ancient Buddhist symbol for clarity, completeness of perception, and purity of consciousness. A mirror reflects a thing objectively, but what we see in the mirror is not the thing itself.  Because the object is not seen directly, it may be seen more accurately ~ more clearly, without judgment and with greater perspective.  This can lessen the tendency to see a thing as fixed or solid and encourage better understanding.  The mirror, or perception, more effectively propels the mind toward insight and compassion than mere argument or lecture. The elephant tusks and the Queen's earrings are two of the 7 possessions of the Chakravartin, or Wheel Turner: the term in Hinduism refers to an ideal ruler, but in Buddhism, Chakravartin has come to mean a Buddha whose all-encompassing teachings are universally true.  Chakravartin has an army of 4 divisions, infantry, cavalry, elephants, & chariots. Chakravartin is the lineage of 25 Kulika kings or enlightened monarchs, the 25th of which will finally defeat the "non-believers." The Precious Elephant is a symbol of the strength of the mind in Buddhism. Exhibiting noble gentleness, the precious elephant serves as a symbol of the calm majesty possessed by one who is on the path. Specifically, it embodies the boundless powers of the Buddha, which are miraculous aspiration, effort, intention, & analysis. The Precious Queen's heavy earrings are taken as a symbol of comprehension of the Buddha’s teachings.  The weight of the earrings would have caused the wearers earlobes to elongate.  The long earlobes of the Buddha are a symbol of her detachment from all things earthly. The Queen speaks the truth, using no frivolous words and holding no false vices. The red coral is used as a jewel for ornamentation, decorating jewelry.  As Mala bead, it depicts a symbolic offering and also a wish for acquisition. It is a precious offering of great value. The slow process of making yogurt is an appropriate metaphor for transforming the spirit. By faithfully applying the principles of Buddhism, negative behavior is overcome and the clear mind is revealed. In this case an offering is made of both the yogurt and the coral, which is one of the most precious and valuable offerings. There are cumulus clouds in the background of the doors. Cumulus clouds are quite common in Tibet. One significance of these fast moving clouds and the pure clarity of the sky is metaphorically an illustration of the Buddha Mind. Clouds may come and go across the heavens, like the transitory thoughts or delusions which appear to obscure the mind's true nature, yet the nature of the sky remains unchanged. This is like the mirror, which is always unaffected by the appearances which arise in it, the sky is clear, transparent, infinite and immaculate.

The bottom front panels have stylized durva grass done in kyungbur with a trefoil in the center. Durva grass is a symbol of long life.  Because grass is highly resilient, it is believed to be immortal.  Therefore, it proclaims the end of samsara, the successive death & rebirth of all beings  It usually takes a long time to overcome samsara, & a longer lifespan will allow greater progress in moving towards enlightenment within a given cycle. The trefoil is a cloud design that refers to the Buddha, it also refers to the 3-sllable mantra, Om Ah Hum; the body speech and mind of Buddha as in the acquisition of these properties.

The frame has the Queen's earrings adorning it, except just under the top edge, where there are Dorjes and sets of 3 tormas. The torma is an offering with power to heal and to provide wisdom and wealth, both spiritual and financial.

The main side panel has a double dorje, the upper panel has a 4-petaled flower. The Double Dorje is an epiphany, a sudden realization;  Dorje (Tibetan) thunderbolt, or double diamond, ("visvavajra" in sanskrit). Its four heads represent the four Dhyani Buddha. Of these, it is associated primarily with Akmoghasiddhi, lord of the north, the Karma Family Buddha, whose name means "Unfailing Accomplishment."  The double Dorje represents the indestructibility of all phenomenonal essence.  It serves as a symbol of harmony, immutability, and all -knowingness. The single, uncrossed representation, just under the top ledge, 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 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.

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