Tibet, Karmapas

Karmapas represent the  Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan buddhism.

16th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, private collection.

16th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with cold gold on face, private collection.

They have a monastic appearance and wear a black crown-like hat. They often sit like the historical buddha, with the right arm uncovered and the right hand calling Earth to witness, the left hand in the meditation gesture. The above figure has both hands touching the ground, like a shamarpa published in a previous post.

16th century, Tibet, brass, photo by Koller.

16th century, Tibet, brass, photo by Koller.

This hierarch holds a flaming jewel in his left hand. His shoulders are covered with a richly incised outer garment with a large floral design.

16th-17th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie's.

16th-17th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie’s.

Another one –  or maybe the same one – with a flaming jewel in his left hand.

17th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt copper repoussé, photo by Koller.

17th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt copper repoussé, photo by Koller.

This one holds a flaming jewel too but he his right hand does the discussion or teaching gesture. Unless there is an incision on the base with the name of the hierarch, it is often impossible to identify him.

17th century circa, Tibet, karmapa, photo by Christie's.

17th century circa, Tibet, karmapa, photo by Christie’s.

The above character holds a group of three precious jewels or triratna in his left hand.

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