Mongolia, Manjushri with sword

18th century, Mongolia, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy and pigments, Zanabazar school, photo by Christie's.

18th century, Mongolia, Manjushri, gilt copper alloy and pigments, Zanabazar school, photo by Christie’s.

Fierceful Manjushri is seated in the vajra position on a typically Mongolian double-lotus base, adorned with a five-leaf crown with bows and upward flowing ribbons, beaded jewellery, a thin flat celestial scarf that falls rigidly along his sides and behind him, and a beaded belt. He brandishes a flaming sword with a vajra hilt in his right hand above his head, and holds in his left hand the long stem of a lotus flower topped with a book/ manuscript.

18th c., Mongolia, Manjushri, gilt c.a.+pig., Zanabazar school, close up

His facial features have been delicately painted with pigments.

18th century, Mongolia, Manjushri, possibly by Zanabazar, at the Zanabazar Museum (Mongolia).

18th century, Mongolia, Manjushri, by Zanabazar, at the Zanabazar Museum (Mongolia).

This is a different form of Manjushri, usually seated, who does the dharmacakra mudra with his hands while holding the long stem of two lotuses, one on the left topped with a book and the other topped with part of a sword. He is adorned with a five-leaf crown (with a large middle panel) that matches the design of his large earrings, an elaborate festooned beaded necklace and similar belt, a long celestial scarf softly draped over his forearms, across his arms and down his sides, Indian-style armbands and bracelets, and a beaded sacred cord. His long lower garment worn like a skirt is decorated throughout with an incised floral pattern, in the manner of Newar works from the Nepalese Malla period, and the hem is richly incised with a different pattern. He stands on an exquisite pedestal shaped like a lotus flower.

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