Ladakh, Avalokiteshvara on lotus throne

12th century, Ladakh or Western Tibet, bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

12th century, Ladakh or Western Tibet, bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, brass with silver inlay, at the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, UK).

This less common form of Avalokiteshvara (identified through the effigy of Amitabha in his crown and the antelope skin on his shoulders) has four ams and is holding an elephant goad, a lotus, a thunderbolt or vajra and a noose. The lotus base, his hair, his pointed facial features and silver-inlaid eyes were made in the Kashmiri style but the face is wider and the head slightly bigger. The  wide double mandorla behind him is often seen on 11th-12th century sculptures from Kashmir, Ladakh and Western Tibet.  He is wearing some simple beaded jewellery, a transparent knee-length dhoti and a sash neatly folded under his right ankle.

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