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Tibetan Buddhist Art furniture & Antiques from the monasteries of the Ser Shong (Golden Valley)
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Chöyön Trunks & Torma Boxes and Trunks

Baronet 4 Tibet, Art Galleries, Dealers & Consultants, Vancouver, WA

What is a Chöyön Trunk?

Chöyön trunks were used in monasteries and lamaseries to store valuable gifts of silk and other ritual items, and the trunks' widths were calculated to hold unused rolls of silk.  This usage began because of a special relationship, known as chöyön, that was established in 1244 between the Mongol ruler, Godan Khan, and his spiritual advisor, the Tibetan lama Sakya Pandita.  This relationship was characterized by the lama's commitment to the spiritual well-being of his patron and his subjects, and Godan Khan's protection of the lama.  Chinese silk brocades were presented as patronage gifts, which could be made into hangings, banners, drapes, borders for tangkas and mandalas, and special costumes for cham dancers.  Unused rolls were stored until needed. The trunks were kept in storerooms in the monastery, at the monastic hostels (kangtsen), or at the labrang, the lamas' households.  The highly decorative, iconic designs on these trunks are unique to the Wutun Monastery. Chöyön trunks used at other monasteries were not as elaborately decorated, and some were trapezoidal in shape; however, they were decorated with Buddhist icons and Auspicious symbols. Generally speaking, such abundant use of Buddhist icons on furniture was limited to monastic/temple use and to items in the private prayer rooms of the most affluent patrons.  With the abolishment of the Imperial throne and its patronage, these trunks are the last of a 700-year-old tradition. They were made to replace the ones stolen during the 1950 annexation; however, due to the economic privations of the Occupation they were never used for their intended purpose.

The Sange Monastery Chöyön Trunks

Tibetan Choyon trunk in room setting
These Chöyön trunks of the Sange Monastery display some of the best Tibetan art work we offer. We have signatures of the artists on the certificates, some of whom have died since their signing as they are all advanced in age. Only the best artists were used to paint the Chöyön trunks, as the Chöyön trunks were utilized by the lamas for the purpose of storing the high-value patronage gifts, ritual costumes, and other sacred articles.  The trunks are made from Asian cedar, an aromatic wood.  On some, there is elm on the side walls, with Asian cedar on the front, back, lid and bottom.  Asian cedar is great for keeping crawly critters away, thereby protecting the contents: it is commonly called Juniper in Tibet and is the wood used to send prayers to the Wind or Prayer Horse.  There is plenty of raised gesso on the trunks,  featured in the  traditional Buddhist icons.  The corners, top, and bottom are clad in copper.  The large front-clasp and side-handles are solid brass. Hinges are solid brass replacements. All trunks are painted on the top, front, and both sides.


If you would like to be informed when I add more trunks or boxes (note that all of the post occupation Choyon trunks are listed and are sold), please log on to our shopping cart and subscribe to the newsletter.

These smaller trunks or boxes were initially used to hold torma or the ingredients to make the torma when the Lama went visiting. The early boxes that we have display tantric and wrathful icons that would have been fitting for this use.

click on the thumbnail image to see all of the details

 

Tibetan Furniture dragons trunk

Age: circa 1880
Materials:  juniper.  
Dimensions: W=19.75" H=15.88" D=9.8"
Price $489.00


Tibetan Buddhist torma box
Age: circa 1920
Materials: poplar & juniper.   
Dimensions: H= 9.75 " W= 15.85 " D= 7.75 "
Price $295.00

SOLD SHIPPED TO MARIPOSA, CA
Tibetan Buddhist furniture hand painted torma trunk


Age: circa 1890
Materials:  juniper.  
Dimensions: W=19.75" H=15.62" D=9.9"
SOLD SHIPPED TO LA, CA


tibetan antique furniture, hand painted box with Tibetan buddhist symbols

 

Age: circa 1920
Materials: poplar & juniper.   
Dimensions: H= 9.75 " W= 15.85 " D= 7.75 "
SOLD SHIPPED TO RIVIERA BEACH, FL

tibetan buddhist Torma box

Age: circa 1790
Materials: JUNIPER    
Dimensions: H= 10.8 "  W= 17.8 "   D= 7.85 "
Price $1179.00

Sold

Tibetan Furniture hand-painted buddhist box

Age: circa 1860
Materials: JUNIPER    
Dimensions: H= 10 "  W= 16 "   D= 8 "
Price $789.00

SOLD DELIVERD ALAMEDA, CA

Antique Tibetan Buddhist Furniture, hand painted torma trunk circa 1870
Age: circa 1870
Materials:  juniper.  
Dimensions: W=19.75" H=15.75" D=10"
Price $429.00

 

 

Tibetan antique handpainted trunk circa 1870 with buddhist icons representing the 4 noble truths

Age: circa 1870
Materials:  juniper.  
Dimensions: W=19.75" H=15.75" D=10"
Price $569.00

SOLD


Antique Torma Trunk C100-A8
Antique Tibetan Buddhist chest AKA Torma trunk with Tibetan Buddhist symbols of wisdom, enlightenment and overcoming ignorance painted on top front and sides
Material: JUNIPER
Dimensions: W=19.75" H=15.5" D=10"
Age: late 1800s

Price $529
Antique Torma Trunk C100-K7
antique Tibetan chest hand painted with Buddhist symbols a stylized 4 petal flower morphs into a Dharma wheel on the top and the Auspicious Victory banner on the front
Material: JUNIPER
Dimensions: W=19.75" H=15.5" D=10"
Age: mid 1800s

Price $589
Antique Tibetan Torma chest C200-17
Antique Tibetan Buddhist hand painted chest used to house torma implements with Buddhist symbols painted on top, front and sides
Material: JUNIPER
Dimensions: W=15.88" H=9.88" D=7.75"
Age: mid-late 1800s

Price $689
 
   
   

Click on any image below for all of the details and pictures of the Choyon trunks

lots of flowers
conch horn

"The Right Path "
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/- ¼"
Price $1089 Plus shipping

SOLD SHIPPED TO NEW YORK, NY

"The Call to the Dharma "
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/- ¼"
Price $1289 plus shipping

sold

tiger Tibetan Buddhist chest aka Choyon trunk

"Insight & wisdom."
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/-¼"

SOLD SHIPPED TO NEW YORK, NY

"Zipak the Guardian"
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/-¼

SOLD Delivered to the United Kingdom

Tibetan Buddhist cedar chest with snowlion on front 2 golden fish

"Avalokiteshvara's Mantra"
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/-¼"
SOLD shipped to Swarthmore, PA

"2 Golden Fish "
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/- ¼"
Price $1389 Plus shipping
SOLD SHIPPED TO MEXICO CITY

2 golden fish on front of Tibetan Buddhist Choon trunk
Tibetan cedar chest with tiger on front

" May you reach Enlightenment"
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/-¼"
SOLD shipped to Marysville, WA

"Tiger in Bamboo Forest"
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/- ¼"
Price $1179 Plus shipping

SOLD shipped to Chapel Hill, NC

Wind Horse Tibetan Choyon trunk
tiger

"Chakravartin's Precious Horse"
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/- ¼"
Price $1289 Plus shipping
SOLD SHIPPEDTO BOULDER, CO

"Insight~ Compassion~Enlightenment "
Dimensions: H=19" W=25.5" D=11.5" +/- ¼"
Price $1289 Plus shipping
SOLD SHIPPED TO FOX STUDIOS LA-CA

 


 

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