Tibet, Hevajra (7)

15th century, Central Tibet, Hevajra, gilt copper alloy with pigment, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Kapaladhara Hevajra, in embrace with his consort, his eight heads adorned with a skull crown, his 16 hands holding skull cups, two of his four legs treading on two victims (missing here).

The skull cups in his main hands, crossed behind Nairatmya’s back, hold an elephant and a female entity, possibly Vasudhara, goddess of wealth. The remaining cups in his right hands hold other animals (usually horse, donkey, bull, camel, cat and the mythical sharabha), and a man. Those in his left hands hold other gods (of Water, Fire, Air, the Moon, the Sun, Earth, Death).

15th century, Tibet, Hevajra, gilt metal with turquoise and coral inlay, Sonam Gyaltsen and atelier, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 21450.

In most cases Nairatmya has one leg around his waist.

16th century, Tibet, Hevajra and consort, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

Labelled ’16th century, Tibet, protective deity, bronze’, at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena (USA).

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Tibet, wrathful Vajrapani (14)

12th century, Tibet, unidentified, lapis lazuli? (labelled metal’), Nyingjei Lam collection,  on HAR

This figure, published in another section of this blog some time ago, is very likely the Bhutadamara from the Nyingjei Lam collection mentioned by Bonhams in relation to a lapis lazuli Avalokiteshvara seen in the previous post, although he has three peaceful heads and wears princely crowns and a garland, which doesn’t match textual descriptions.

Generally regarded as a wrathful form of Vajrapani, Bhutadamara is an emanation of Akshobhya, with a dark blue or a white body on paintings. He normally has one angry face with bared fangs and bulging eyes, two legs standing on the demon Bhut Aparajita, and 4 or 6 hands. The blue form does the bhutadamara mudra with his main hands, as above, and holds various attributes including a vajra sceptre and a noose. He may have a dragon  or a snake and a half-vajra in his headdress and normally wears a skull crown and a tiger skin loin cloth.

15th century, Tibet, Bhutadamara Vajrapani, (painted clay?), is or was at Gyantse, photo on HAR

He normally has a yaksha appearance, treading on a prone victim, adorned with princely jewellery and wearing a tiger skin dhoti. This masterpiece depicts him with an attendant on each side of him. His flaming hair is tied with a green snake.

Circa 16th century? Tibet, Mahacakra Vajrapani (labelled ’19th century Yamantaka’), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Auction Art

Mahacakra Vajrapani has three heads and 4 to 8 hands. He has a long snake in his mouth and his main hands, and he stands on two victims. His upper right hand holds a vajra sceptre, the lower one does the fear-allaying gesture.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze with paint, at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena (USA).

Vajrapani with one head and two hands, adorned with snakes, beaded jewellery and large floral earrings, his celestial scarf cleverly forming a flaming nimbus, his tiger skin loin cloth held in place with a Nepalese-style belt with raining-jewel pendants.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze (copper alloy) with silver-inlay, private collection, photo on Daguerre

Canda/Chanda Vajrapani stands on a bed of snakes, brandishing his vajra sceptre in his right hand and holding a folded lasso in the other. He wears a tiger skin loin cloth, snakes and princely jewellery. His eyes, nipples and part of his accessories are inlaid with silver.

15th century (or later?), Tibet, Vajrapani (labelled ‘Guru Dragpoche’), bronze, private collection, published on Catawiki.

Tibet, Avalokiteshvara – standing (15)

Unlabelled (11th or 12th century?, Western Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with turquoise inlay), private collection, photo on HAR

Very similar to a sculpture at the Norton Simon Museum ( here) and a few others seen in previous posts, this figure displays features associated with the ancient Tibetan kingdom of Guge, in particular the lower garment and belt, the foliate garland with a single flower at the front and the Kashmiri-style facial features with silver-inlaid eyes. He has a small antelope skin over his left shoulder, an effigy of Amitabha on the central leaf of his crown, fastened with long wavy ribbons reminiscent of Gilgit works.

what do you mean?

13th century, Western Tibet, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), copper alloy with pigments, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A highly original sculpture of a bodhisattva with a blue lotus in his left hand, his right hand in the fear-allaying gesture. He wears a short dhoti decorated with an incised semi-circular motif, some jewellery including a necklace typical of 13th century Tibet, a foliate garland unusually worn across the chest like a brahmin’s thread and knotted at the front, a tiara with three leaves set wide apart – his hair fanning out above it in the manner of Swat Valley works. His face (note the unibrow and the Pala-style gaze and sharp nose) is painted with cold gold and red pigment for the lips. His arms and the lotus are secured with rods connected to his body.

Circa 12th century, Tibet Padmapani Lokeshvara, lapis lazuli, private collection, photo on Bonhams

A rare semi-precious stone image of Avalokiteshvara with a tripartite crown and beaded jewellery, holding the stem of a large lotus rising from the base.

His right hand does the gesture of generosity and leans against a blue lotus, probably there to prevent breakage.

Bonhams published this image with concise but helpful information about another two lapis lazuli images, one of them (published recently as an unidentified metal sculpture as per the information given on HAR) identified as ‘Bhutadamara’, to be featured  in the next post.

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, brass, private collection, photo on Bonhams

This one does the fear-allaying gesture with his right hand and has an effigy of Amitabha in front of his chignon (and possibly another at the top?).

12th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, brass+pigment, private collection, photo on Bonhams

Standing on a small Pala-style lotus and flanked by two stupas, Avalokiteshvara is depicted with an exaggeratedly tall coiffure topped with a lotus bud finial and  adorned with a low tiara tied with large flowing ribbons…

… and jewellery decorated with incisions associated with Western Tibet. He holds an oversized lotus and has a tiny antelope skin over his left shoulder.

Circa 12th century, Western Tibet or Western Himalayas? (labelled ‘Kashmir’), Padmapani, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Nagel.

An unusual sculpture depicting him on a Kashmiri-style lotus base and plinth, wearing a singular tripartite crown with Amitabha at the front and a jewel at the top of each leaf, small and large flowers above the ears, more flowers at the end of his braided hair, plain jewellery, a coarse garland and matching nimbus.

Tibet, Yamantaka (4)

The Yamari aspect of Yamantaka has a human face with three eyes, bared fangs and orange hair. The Vajrabhairava aspect has at least one buffalo head.

Undated (circa 15th century?, Tibet), Rakta Yamari, gilt metal with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on HAR

Red Yamari with one head and two hands, standing in embrace with his consort atop a human victim lying on the back of a prostrate bull. When his right arm is raised he usually holds a stick tipped with a human head, and has a skull cup in his left hand. She holds a skull cup and a flaying knife and wears a bone apron, he wears a tiger skin loin cloth and often has a half-vajra finial on his flaming hair.

Unlabelled (Tibet, Rakta Yamari, gilt metal with cold gold, pigments and stone inlay), private collection, photo on HAR

They may stand directly on the back of the male buffalo.

13th century, Tibet, Vajrabhairava (labelled ‘protector deity’, gilt copper alloy with pigments and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Tenzing Asian Art

In his sahaja form Vajrabhairava has one head and two arms and always stands alone. Easily confused with Yama Dharmaraja, he holds a flaying knife and a skull cup before his heart (rather than his right arm being outstretched) and steps on a male victim, often on a prostrate bull. In this case the animal has a dakini engraved on its rump. Vajrabhairava, naked and ithyphallic, is adorned with a garland of severed heads, bone ornaments and a skull crown, and may have the hide of an elephant on his back.

Undated, Tibet, Vajrabhairava, (gilt) bronze (with stone inlay), private collection, photo on HAR

We saw a very similar sculpture dated 14th century (see here: Sotheby’s).

He has 9 heads, 34 hands, 16 legs, his main hands holding a flaying knife and a skull cup, the top ones holding an elephant hide behind his back, the others have a variety of peaceful and wrathful implements. His right legs are bent and would have been crushing Hindu gods and mammals, his left legs are stretched and would have trampled gods and birds. In this case he has three rows of three heads, the top one is Manjushri’s head.

16th century, Tibet, Vajrabhairava, gilt metal with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 33545.

18th century, Tibet, Vajrabhairava, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Alternatively his heads are arranged in a row of seven, plus one angry head, plus Manjushri’s at the top. Note the two figures seated at the front of the lotus base, one of them with four arms.

15th century, Tibet, Vajrabhairava with consort, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with cold gold, pigments and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The same form in embrace with his consort, who holds a skull cup and a flaying knife.

Tibet, Black Jambhala (9)

Undated, Tibet, Black Jambhala, stone, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

On this very old sculpture made of black stone it is difficult to see the lower part of the body but the skull cup in his right hand held at heart level identifies him as the black form of Jambhala, who stands or squats on Ganapati or on a human victim.

Undated, (Tibet), Black Jambhala, copper alloy, photo by Hanhai Auction on Himalayan Art Resources, item 44102.

He is always naked and ithyphallic and doesn’t wear a crown. He may have an effigy of a buddha in his headdress. On this early work he has a mitre-like hairstyle and his upper fangs bite his lower lip.

Undated, (Tibet), Black Jambhala, metal?, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 3314899.

The human (who is a ‘treasure owner’) often vomits jewels like the mongoose Jambhala holds with his left hand.

Undated, Tibet or Ladakh, Black Jambhala, brass, is or was at the Matho monastery, photo on HARInstead of squatting he may stand in a fighting pose, with a knee bent and the other leg straight.

Undated, Tibet or Ladakh, Black Jambhala, brass, is or was at the Matho monastery, photo on HAR

15th century, Tibet, Black Jambhala (labelled ‘Kubera’), stone,  at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena (USA).

His hair is secured with a snake and he wears snake bracelets, armbands, anklets, necklace and sacred cord, although on later examples he may be wearing a princely necklace.

Undated, Tibet?, Black Jambhala, copper alloy with pigment, photo by Hanhai Auction on Himalayan Art Resources, item 44315.

This one wears a garment (perhaps an animal skin or human hide over his back?) fastened with a belt, and has a tiered hair bun reminiscent of some 18th century Mongolian works.

Tibet, eleven-head Avalokiteshvara (8)

17th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, zitan wood (red cedar) (with red paint and traces of cold gold), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Avalokiteshvara in his standard eleven-head form, with nine heads stacked in groups of three, plus Mahakala’s, plus Manjushri’s, eight arms, the main hands holding a wish-granting jewel against his heart. His main head is adorned with enormous floral earrings and his dhoti is decorated with a floral print. The upper hands still hold the traditional rosary and lotus, the lower right hand does the gesture of generosity, the left one holds a water pot, the middle hands would have held a wheel and a bow.

17th century or earlier, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, wood with traces of polychromy, private collection, photo by Cornette de Saint-Cyr.

A singular example complete with back plate, on which the bow is preserved.

Circa 18th century, Tibet, Ekadasha Lokeshvara, wood with paint, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 104 China 2.

we had only seen another example with Mahakala’s flaming hair forming a halo around Manjushri’s head at the top (see here ).

18th century, Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A late parcel-gilt work with short legs, broad hips and squarish feet, wearing a Chinese-style accessories including a scarf with serpentine ends.

Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara (22)

Circa 13th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, painted clay, is or was at the Shalu monastery in Tibet, photo by Dr Christian Luczanits

A well-preserved and colourful tsa-tsa representing the most popular four-arm form of Avalokiteshavara, his main hands tightly closed to hold a wish-granting gem against his heart, the other two displaying a rosary and a lotus flower.

15th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 3.

A rare example with an effigy of Amitabha on a large ornament in his headdress and a round lotus flower in his left hand.

16th century, Tibet, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 3.

Here Amitabha is seated on his chignon and the main hands are slightly apart.

Undated (circa 16th century?), Tibet, Avalokiteshvara, chaturbhuja, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 59622.

17th-18th century, Shadakshari Lokesvara (labelled ‘Tara’), gilt bronze with silver eyes, private collection, photo by Bonhams.