Lot 74: Carved Wooden Buddhist Tibetan Lama Mask, 31 cm

Est: $1,000 - $2,000
$20 0 bids
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Eternity Gallery

May 10, 2018, 11:00 AM EST
Tampa, FL, US
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Description: Carved Wooden Buddhist Tibetan Lama Mask; Height: 11.5 = 29.5 cm. Width: 7 = 18 cm. Depth: 3 = 7 cm. Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz. = 550g. Condition: Perfect, high quality. You can tell this is original native mask (not for tourists). There are still remnants of original blue and green colors, although the main color brown. The meaning of the colors you can read below. Tibetan masks such as this quality and age are often offered between $ 1500 and $ 2500 Qiang Mu and Tibetan drama follow some patterns in using masks. Since Tibetan people are all Buddhism followers, showing infinite piety to Buddha, the facial makeup imitating Buddha are not simply objects. They remain Buddhist idols, such as Dharmaraja, protective divinities and thunderbolts. Therefore, homage to masks is actually showing a respect to the deities. In particular, the facial makeup of the angry-looking type and fierce-looking type are esteemed, because they are powerful enough to deter evil spirits. Each time to fetch the masks for Qiang Mu and Tibetan drama performances, people would first recite sutras. When the performances are ended, they would recite sutras before putting the masks back to cases or hanging them on walls. This is a ritual that must be followed to fetch masks in all temples of Tibetan Buddhism. Qinghai Tibetan masks are sculpted under rigid formats. Qiang Mu and Tibetan drama characters are largely introduced from Buddhims stories. The facial makeup is generally made to follow the original versions in Image Measurement Scripture, Notes to Buddha on Image Measurement Scripture, Painting Measurement Scripture, Painting Treasure, and Origins of Craftsmanship. They are mainly produced by temple lama artisans and folk craftsmen, including some with superior skills. For example, Jiancuo, a master of art from Regong, Tongren County, is a best to produce solid pullover masks, famous in the Tibetan areas. Although Tibetan masks follow the Image Measurement Scripture in the Buddhism sutras, the temples might vary in exact moulds of the facial makeup. The differences originate from how the craftsmen understand Buddha statues and their actual skills in productions. As a result, the facial makeup art shows extraordinary splendor. In the early years, rough blank masks were made of red earth, paper pulp, gesso, white cloth, paper, and paste. They were smeared two to third times, and finally brushed with tung oil and lacquer for two times. Along with process of the time, the materials and processing technologies are upgraded. Loose clay and marble of fit sizes are adopted to have a rough mask engraved. After that, thin cloth is torn into small pieces to be pasted on the mould for many layers with the help of bone glues and facial glues, till they reach considerable thickness. When the cloth embryos are dried, chop the surface smooth with a sharp knife, and daub concentrated clay paste upon the cloth embryo (smear after it is dried for many rounds). When the mire is dried, come to the He Zuo Da Er working procedure (first rub it smooth with coarse and fine cloths, and then polish it slowly with millstone). Fix up the interior of the mask with thin bamboo strips and rubber colts. In the end, paint it with colors, brush lacquer upon the colors, finalize the design, and decorate it with all sorts of ornaments. Leading deity masks may be extended in sizes along to the positions of the deities and respects from the people. The bigger ones may reach several feet in length. Dyes are applied under strict specifications. In the early stage, stone colors were used. Confined by economic conditions, the regions with poorer economy would apply modern ads colors, while the well-off regions would adopt pure gold powder and mineral pigments imported from Germany and the United States. The masks are painted while the pigments are abraded. The most favored colors are pure red, pure yellow, pure blue, pure green, pure black and white. Half tints are seldom used. The colors must look simple, keen and gorgeous. The patterns must be decorative, showing sharply contrasted colors. The lacquer-smeared surface will look shiny, foiling imposing, stately and mysterious manners. Facial makeup is a genre of the Tibetan Buddhism painting art. The colors are of religious symbolic implications. They are painted with specific colors according to their roles in the tenets. This is a tradition criterion to be followed. Buddhism sutras say the eyes are keen to four colors, which are green, yellow, red and white, the cardinal colors in Tibetan paintings. Tibetan masks follow same principles to use colors with Tibetan paintings. Red is a main color to express the three virtues of authority, tranquility and indignation in Buddhism. When it is applied to women, red denotes love, passion and joy. Monk cassocks, monk cassock decorations, sea of flames supporting divinities, Nirmanakaya countenance, and Dakini body are largely shown with the red color, to deliver stateliness, awe and fervor. Yellow symbolizes mercy, widsom, prosperity, and merits and virtues. Buddhism paintings are generally drawn with the yellow color, particularly the faces and exposed limbs of deities and Buddhas, their crowns, and background color of palace roofs. In order to pop out the tenet connotations of yellow and strengthen color effects, pure gold is also applied as dye. The technique has been perfect to apply gilt to a surface. Blue represents power, bravery and awe. It is used in protector deity statues and Buddha figure backgrounds. The architecture door frames are also decorated with blue. Green implies infinite mercy, and expresses sweet dew, cool breeze, saving other living creatures, great deeds, and good conducts. Green is indispensable to paint Buddha and Bodhisattva background, Green Tara, and foil the main objects. Black is largely used to express evils and darkness. It is sometimes applied to incarnate extraordinary protective guardians pledging allegiance to the power of Buddha. White is adopted to reflect good karma. It is to reveal innocence, holiness, mercy, and geniality. The Longevity Statue, Four-armed Bodhisattva Guanyin, and five Longevity Fairies are decorated largely in white, with artistic effects. However, Tibetan masks in the conspicuous Taer Temple seek flowery colors. They are different in the habits of using colors from the symbolic meanings of colors in Tibetan drawings. Here, red symbolizes power and sublimity. Yellow symbolizes solemnness and faith. Blue symbolizes might and justice. And black symbolizes fierce and evil.
Condition Perfect, high quality. You can tell this is original native mask (not for tourists). There are still remnants of original blue and green colors, although the main color brown. The meaning of the colors you can read below. Tibetan masks such as this quality and age are often offered between $1,500 and $4,000.
Low Estimate: 2000
High Estimate: 4000
Orignal: Yes
Medium: Wood
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