Kashmir, 8th c. sitting buddhas (2)

8th century, Kashmir, Shakyamuni, brass, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).

8th century, Kashmir (or Gilgit?), Shakyamuni, brass, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).

There are few Kashmiri sculptures of the historical buddha with a crown and, whereas early Tibetan or Nepalese works depict him with just a crown, in the Kashmir, Gilgit and Swat Valley area he normally wears jewellery, including lotus earrings, a short necklace with plain beads, another necklace with what looks like large fabric beads, and the neck of his upper garment often forms a zigzag shape adorned with tassels. The above figure sits on a Gilgit-style lion throne. He holds both hands in the meditation gesture or dhyana mudra, which distinguishes him from buddha Vairocana, who may also sit in princely attire on a lion throne but does the dharmacakra mudra (turning the wheel of dharma gesture). The face is badly worn from centuries of devotion but we can see that the eyes are inlaid with silver.

8th century, Kashmir, Shakyamuni, brass with silver inlay, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

8th century, Kashmir, Shakyamuni, brass with silver inlay, private collection, on Himalayan Art Resources.

This is a more standard image of the historical buddha seated in the lotus position,  holding one end of his garment in his left hand while calling Earth to witness with the other. His garment covers one shoulder only. The panel behind him has flames engraved only on the nimbus, the rest is plain.

8th c., Kashmir, Shakyamuni, brass+sil. eyes, close up

The double-lotus base under him has an upper row of short, flat,  pointed petals and a lower row of longer ones, which is an unusual feature. His dhoti and upper garment are incised with transversal lines. His lips, nipples and the hem of his robe are inlaid with copper.

8th c., Kashmir, Shakyamuni, brass+sil. eyes, face

His eyes and the very large urna on his forehead are inlaid with silver.

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