Kashmir, 6-armed Avalokiteshvara

early 11th century, Kashmir, bodhisattbva Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, cold gold, at the British Museum (London)

Early 11th century, Kashmir, bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, cold gold, at the British Museum (London).

The bodhisattva is sitting on a  cylindrical stool with a lotus-shaped seat resting on an oblong platform imitating rocky formation and supported by columns and goats. His calf-length dhoti is inlaid with brass, copper and silver to imitate stripy cloth, and it is held in place with a beaded belt with a round clasp. There is an effigy of buddha Amitabha in his chignon. He has a thick fringe with a parting in the middle and some long plaits dropping on his shoulders. He has no jewellery but wears a sacred thread across his torso, an antelope skin over his left shoulder and a flowing scarf passing over his arms, under his elbows and down to the ground. The flower of his long-stemmed lotus is almost as large as his face. In his hands, he holds a rosary, a staff with three spikes, a waterpot, the stem of the lotus, and a  manuscript. There is a  halo behind him attached at shoulder level. Rather than being incised, the flames were hollowed out.

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