Himalayan Art Resources

Item: Book Cover

གླེགས་ཤིང་། 書皮
(item no. 65822)
Origin Location Tibet
Date Range 1400 - 1499
Lineages Karma (Kagyu) and Buddhist
Material Wood
Collection Rubin Museum of Art
Notes about the Central Figure

Classification: Object/Concept

Interpretation / Description

Book cover with the Sixteen Arhats in the upper register and the lineage of the Karmapas in the lower register.

Decorative book covers are typically figural or abstract in design. This unusual book cover, on the under side, has carvings of the Sixteen Arhats in the upper register and the lineage of the Karmapa Lamas of the Karma Kamtshang Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism in the lower register. Book covers generally do not depict lineage traditions. This example is rare because of subject, yet finely carved, along with name inscriptions accompanying each figure in the lower register. From these inscriptions it is possible to date the work to the 15th century. The top of the cover is decorated with abstract designs.

Jeff Watt 2-2008

English Transliteration: [Name inscriptions for each of the figures in the lower registry]

Secondary Images
Related Items
Thematic Sets
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Sculpture (Gallery 2)
Teacher: Karmapa (Sculpture & Iconography)
Sculpture: Bookcovers, Figurative
Incarnation Lineage: Gyalwa Karmapa Main Page
Collection of RMA: Selected Sculpture
Collection of Rubin Museum of Art: Book Covers
Collection of RMA: Ritual & Decorative Masterworks