Swat Valley, peacock throne

7th-8th century, Swat Valley, Shakyamuni, dark bronze, photo by Christie's.

7th-8th century, Swat Valley, Shakyamuni, dark bronze, photo by Christie’s.

7th-8th c., Swat Valley, Shakyamuni, base, Christie's

There are other Swat Valley thrones supported by winged creatures labelled as peacocks, including a sculpture of Vajradharma Lokeshvara published in a previous post. At first glance, apart from the fact that peacocks don’t have such short legs and necks, the distinctive feathers on their head are missing and they look more like griffins. But in Himalayan buddhist iconography thrones are traditionally supported  by lions (Shakyamuni and Vairocana), elephants (Akshobhya and Vajrasttva), garudas (Amoghasiddhi), horses (Ratnasambhava) or peacocks (Amitabha/Amitayus), and in the Swat Valley area it is not uncommon for Shakyamuni to be seated on a throne usually attributed to another buddha. In a previous post we have seen a much earlier sculpture of Shakyamuni on a peacock throne, on which the distinctive feathers can be seen on the head of the birds (below).

peacock base

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s