This magnificent carved and gilded wooden book cover with a width of 29" | 74 cm is unusually large for and depicts numerous extremely fine relief artistry carvings which are partly painted. This cover differs from the majority of others in that both sides were completely carved and painted. Standard book covers are plain on the back or have only some smaller painted or carved areas [see details].
The historical Buddha Shakyamuni is in the centre of this richly decorated cover. The two other main deities are Amitayus [on the left] and Amogasiddhi [on the right]. Both are depicted here in their crowned form.
Each of the three Buddhas is surrounded by a torana arch and seated on laborate snow lion thrones. Two snow lions are depicted in the lower part of the base on the right and left. Above, there are two more snow lions on both sides and above them two makaras and a garuda on top.
Twenty-five small Buddha depictions with different mudras surround the three Toranas. From the mudras, these figures can be identified as Akshobya [8 x], Amitabha [10 x] and Amogasiddhi [7 x].
Several decorative strips enclose the centre field, which is surrounded by a frieze of leaf ornaments arranged in a row.
The outer end is formed by strongly curved, stylized lotus leaves that run in opposite directions. The eight Tibetan Buddhist symbols of happiness [ashtamangala] are depicted on the outer frame. From above left to right: precious umbrella, victory banner, infinite knot, wheel of dharma, two golden fish, lotus blossom, clockwise turning shell and treasure vase.
Also remarkable is the beautifully carved back.
The edge that would have faced outwards on a monastic library bookshelf is carved with a stupa surrounded by a scrolled motif. The eleventh letter of the Tibetan alphabet: 'da' is carved within the pattern on the far left, indicating that the book that was once enclosed within the covers, was the eleventh volume in a series.
It is impossible to know from this letter how many volumes were in the series to which this cover belonged as it is not known how many more covers followed or indeed the title of the book it enclosed.
The opposite end of the cover [which would have not been visible when the book was on the shelf] was painted with the red and gold half circles.
The edge that would have faced outwards in a monastery library bookshelf is carved with a stupa that is faced by two bends of scrolling foliage. The eleventh lettter of the Tibetan alphabeth, 'da' is superimposed on the pattern on the left, indicating that is was the eleventh volume in a series.
Alter: 18. Jahrhundert
Gewicht: 5.7 kg
|Measurements:||29.1 x 10 x 1.8 " | 74 x 25.5 x 4.5 cm|
|Download:||High Resolution [17.5 MB, 7736 x 2835 px.]|