Art made in Tibet by Tibetan monks

Tibetan High Lama's shrine

Starting at: $3,475.00

Large Tibetan Buddhist hand painted offering cabinet made for the High Lama at one of the two Sange monasteries, with a golden pheasant on the upper doors and dragons on both lower doors. There are no drawers on this cabinet; the lower doors open up to the space behind where drawers were inserted in later cabinets. The panels to the side of each door have a green 4-petaled flower, while the center bottom panel has a royal blue one. The bottom two panels adjacent to the blue 4-petaled flower each have the Auspicious Treasure Vase. Read the iconography for details. The art work is all done in kyungbur with plenty of 24 kt gold. This offering cabinet or altar has been in the work shop for many decades. The cleaning of Tibetan art over 400 years old is extremely difficult and many times impossible without adding great cost to the item. The art work on the front has been preserved with an acrylic coating.

The size of this Tibetan Buddhist offering cabinet along with the icons would suggest that it was made for a the High lama at either the upper or lower Sange Monastery and from an Imperial Chinese patron. The dragon and in particular the golden pheasant depictions indicate an official Imperial Chinese patronage, in keeping with the Choyon of 1244 AD with Godan Khan, as does the styling of the front frame. There is an abundant use of 24kt gold on the frame, figures and flora. In 1403 AD the Ming Emperor Yongtzen moved the capital from Xi'an to Beijing and built the Forbidden City, in this construction project there was the Sun and Moon Pagoda that the Emperor hired 50 artists from Sange monastery to decorate. He was so pleased with the work that he issued a proclamation extolling their artistic prowess, "Wujitong", meaning from Tibet: from that time forward the artists were referred to as Wutun artists. It is quite probable that this and another similar antique Tibetan piece of furniture B015 were made for the High Lamas at both Sange Monasteries. In the history of the Lower Sange Monastery that I had translated by a graduate student at Qinghai University two High Lamas were mentioned as receiving gifts from the Yongle Emperor, although the exact mature of those gifts was not disclosed. There is a partial list of gifts and payments to the artist monks that worked on the Forbidden city, which includes, fine cloth and mineral pigments. Please note that the upper and lower monasteries are part of the same monastery, though each has its own high lama. The upper monastery was founded after Tuk mor monastery was completely destroyed and the lower partially destroyed by a devastating mudslide in 1385 or 1386 AD. Some of the surviving monks from Tuk Mor went to the lower monastery and others decided to build away from the mountain side a safe distance and thus the upper monastery came into existence.

This cabinet comes with a brush-signed Certificate of Authenticity, the iconography, map of the area with short history, and pictures of the area, people, their homes and essays about their lifestyle and economy.

AGE: early 15th century (1400-1410 AD)
Dimensions: Height=39" W=44.5" D=15"

To view larger images and read further details see main listing.

B006-01 Price $3475.00, plus shipping & handling: West Coast $440, Mtn. States $470, Mid West $490, Atlantic coast $535 Canadian destinations, contact us for a quote. ~~~~This ships Over The Road, with a common carrier (Oak Harbor in most cases).

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  • Model: B001-06
  • 1 Units in Stock

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 11 September, 2012.

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