Western Tibet, Akshobhya

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, copper alloy, private collection.

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, copper alloy, private collection.

Akshobhya is seated in the vajra position, his hands in the bhumisparsha and dhyana mudras. He wears princely garments and is adorned with jewellery, a five-leaf crown with flowing ribbons, his chignon is topped with a larger leaf panel. The way his celestial scarf forms an arch behind him then undulates on each side up to his knees and is fastened to his body with small metal pieces is often seen on seated bodhisattva sculptures from Western Tibet (or buddhas with a bodhisattva appearance) inspired from the Pala style.

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya (labelled Vajrsattva), copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, at the New South Wales Museum of Art.

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya (labelled Vajrsattva), copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, at the Art Gallery in New South Wales (Australia).

Alternatively, the figure is framed with lotuses. The double-lotus base with plump petals, a plain lower rim and a row of thick beading at the top is another feature typical of the area, as are the large bows on each side of the crown (together with the tall chignon topped with an adornment).

14th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya, gilt copper alloy with silver inlay, at the Basel Museum of Art.

14th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya, brass with silver inlay, at the Basel Museum der Kulturen, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

As the panels of the crowns are so tall, they are often linked with a piece of metal, to prevent breakage.

14th c., Western Tibet, Akshobhya, brass+sil. inlay, kirtimukha

The front panel on this one is decorated with Kirtimukha.

14th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya, brass, at the British Museum.

14th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya, brass, at the British Museum (England).

The jewellery usually consists in large hoops, a short necklace with a large pendant, a longer necklace that forms a U on the chest, large foliate armbands, beaded bracelets and thin anklets.

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