Lot 207. A gilt-bronze figure of Vaishravana, Qing dynasty, 18th century18.5cm., 7 1/4 in. Estimate GBP 6,000 — 8,000. Lot sold 20,000 GBP. Photo Sotheby's.

the figure holding a mongoose in the left hand and the right hand raised originally holding a banner, wearing scale armour secured around the middle with a sash billowing around the shoulders, seated in lalitasana on a recumbent lion on a single-lotus base.

Sotheby'sImportant Chinese Art, London, 13 may 2015

Vaishravana, leader of the yaksha race, is a worldly guardian worshipped as both a protector and benefactor (wealth deity). He lives on the north side of the lower slopes of mount Meru in the Heaven of the Four Great Kings. As the leader of the Four Direction Guardians, he like the others, swore an oath of protection before the buddha Shakyamuni. The stories and iconography of the Four Guardian Kings arise originally with the early Buddhist sutras and become fully developed in the later Mahayana sutras. They are common to all schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Paintings of the Kings are generally found in association with a larger thematic set featuring the buddha Shakyamuni and the 16 Great Arhats. Jeff Watt 6-99