15th Century Mahasiddha

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An early and very fine gilt bronze representation of Dombi-Heruka, one of 84 Mahasiddhas (great beings) held in reverence by Tibetan Buddhists. Mahasiddhas were believed to have been actual historical personnages who performed great mystical feats, and who often isolated themselves in caves or remote areas and there lived ascetic lives.

The Mahasiddha Dombi-Heruka is identifiable by virtue of the serpent which he holds in his right hand and by the tiger upon which he is seated. He wears a tiger skin, an undulating scarf about his shoulder, and jewelry about his neck, wrists, and ankles. The artist's treatment of the facial expression reflects the mystic nature of this figure. His awkward positioning side-saddle upon the back of the stalking tiger and his seeming struggle with the serpent present a transcendental vision removed from the material world.

The subject matter, the gilt bronze and inlay techniques employed, and the naturalistic treatment of the subject suggest a Himalayan origin. This bronze was likely created by a Tibetan artist whose work was influenced by the neighboring Chinese tradition.

Not only is this sculpture wonderfully characteristic of the more lively Mahasiddha portraits, it is a particularly impressive example due to its age, quality and style. An exquisite example of Sino-Tibetan art.

The artwork itself (exclusive of the display stand) measures 4.5 inches high x 3.5 inches wide x 1.25 inches deep.
Of the Period
Place of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 15th Century
18th Century and Earlier
Materials and Techniques
Excellent. The bronze itself is excellent condition, with a gorgeous patina. There are minor areas of oxidation, but overall condition is remarkable given the age of the piece. .
Wear consistent with age and use
4.5 in. H x 3.5 in. W x 1.25 in. D
11 cm H x 9 cm W x 3 cm D
Dealer Location
Los Angeles, CA
Number of Items
Reference Number
Sam Kaufman Gallery
7965 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles CA 90048
(323) 886-0213
  • 20th Century Specialists
1stdibs Dealer since 2005 Located in Los Angeles, CA
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