Tibet, Vajravarahi (5)

14th century circa, Tibet, Densatil Monastery, gilt copper alloy and pigment, published by Christie's.

14th century circa, Tibet, Densatil Monastery, gilt copper alloy, stone inlay and pigment, photo by Christie’s.

Some statues of Vajravarahi dating from the 14th century onwards are on an ovoid lotus base with large lotus flowers on the bottom. Another feature common to that period is the flat wavy celestial scarf that forms an arch over her head and some loops at shoulder level before ending in a two-point shape just above or on the lotus base. She holds a skull cup in her left hand, a flaying knife in the other, a staff resting on the inside of her left arm. She is adorned with a skull crown, a garland of 50 freshly severed heads and bone jewellery.

14th century circa, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

14th century circa, Tibet, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, private collection.

15th-16th century, Tibet,.

15th-16th century, Tibet, private collection.

At times, there is a flower stemming from each end of the scarf.

15th century, Tibet, gilt metal and stones, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

15th century, Tibet, gilt metal and stones, at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art.

On this rare example, the richly decorated base is conical, and the flaying knife is replaced with a sword.

15th-16th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with stone and glass inlay, at the

15th-16th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with stone and glass inlay, at the Seattle Art Museum.

Here, there are leaves and flowers, inlaid with stones, stemming from the sides and the ends of the scarf.

14th-15th c., Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

14th-15th c., Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

On this one, there are lotus flowers richly inlaid with stones sprouting from various parts of the celestial scarf. Her bulky bracelets, anklets, armbands, her festooned necklace, her large hoops and her crown are also richly inlaid with gems. She was probably standing on a corpse, on a lotus base now missing. When the boar’s head is not protruding from her right side, it is on her head or in her chignon and can only be seen from the back.

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