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This splendid, dynamic and very decorative pair of gilded and enamelled copper wall plaques show dancing snow lions with their bushy tails and manes flowing to show their movement. The two are a true pair – they are the mirror image of each other.
Each of the lions has a gilded body. Each is shown with mouth agape, fangs revealed and red tongues protruding. Each is depicted holding aloft and across their stomachs a string of what is likely to be jewels. They have been coloured to suggest precious stones.
The plaques would have adorned the wall of a temple or monastery or similar – perhaps near or at an entrance to fulfil a protective function.
Tibet is known as the ‘Land of the Snow Lion’. In the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, the snow lion is one of the four ‘dignities’ associated with the ‘wind horse’. The others are the dragon, the garuda, and the tiger.
The plaques are in excellent condition. Each has a custom-made black metal display stand. They are very decorative.
Buddesberg, M., & B.J. Richtsfeld (eds.), From the Land of the Snow Lion: Tibetan Treasures from the 15th to 20th Century, Himer/Museum Funf Kontinente, 2016.