G672 A LARGE PAIR OF COPPER REPOUSSÉ DEER


Sculpture

G672 A LARGE PAIR OF COPPER REPOUSSÉ DEER

TIBET OR MONGOLIA

19TH CENTURY

LENGTH: 62 CMS, 24 ½ INS

A large and beautifully modelled pair of copper repoussé deer, one male and one female, each in a placid recumbent pose with their legs folded beneath them, heads slightly raised, eyes wide open and ears pricked.
These charming deer are a reference to the Buddha’s First Sermon at the Sarnath Deer Park, northeast of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, India. This was the site of his first sermon after attaining enlightenment, in which he taught the Four Noble Truths (comprising the essence of his teachings).

Examples of this type of deer sculpture have been attributed to both Tibet and Mongolia. For example, see cat. no. 1 in R. Thurman and D. Weldon, Sacred Symbols: The Ritual Art of Tibet, 1999 and cat. no. 66 in P. Berger and T. T. Bartholomew, Mongolia: The Legacy of Chinggis Khan, 1995.

Provenance: Private collection, UK

Acquired from Sotheby’s New York, March 21, 2019, Lot 961.

Previously in a private American collection and acquired from Christie’s New York, March 21, 2007, Lot 341.