A Tibetan thangka depicting Dorje Pakmo is to provide one of the many highlights in an elaborately titled auction in Philadelphia on October 14.
The announcement follows Christie's sale of an important thangka depicting the Green Tara, which sold 193.7% above estimate in September to realise an impressive $1.7m. A thangka is a Tibetan silk painting with embroidery that is usually decorated with Buddhist imagery.
The example at The Spirits of My Reincarnation Brothers and Sisters auction is more modestly priced at just $3,000-4,000. Created between the 14th and 16th centuries, it depicts Dorje Pakmo (Vajra Varahi in Sanskrit), who is among the most important characters in Tibetan Buddhism.
Dorje Pakmo is the highest female incarnation in Tibet and ranks just below the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama. She is believed to be the reincarnation of the consort of the Demchol, a wrathful deity. Given its age, the piece is likely a depiction of the first Dorje Pakmo, who was a princess in south western Tibet during the 15th century named Chokyi Dronma.
The work comes from the collection of Bill Liske, which contains an array of early Chinese and Tibet textiles, carpets and artworks. Liske lived as a mountain guide in the Himalayas for several years and his extraordinary collection has been displayed at both the History Museum of Denver and the Krimsa Gallery in San Francisco.
Giving the auction its title is a spectacular piece from Nigerian artist Prince Twins Seven Seven, whose work saw strong interest at the auction house's May sale. One of seven offered at the present auction, the work was acquired directly from the artist in 2007, just four years before his death. It will sell for $5,000-7,000.