Nepal, late Licchavi-early Thakuri period

8th-9th century, Nepal, buddha, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, at Harvard (USA).

9th-10th century, Nepal, buddha, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, at Harvard university (USA).

This buddha, probably Shakyamuni, holds one end of his garment in his left hand and does the varada mudra with his right hand. He stands on a double-lotus base that departs from the Licchavi style and makes the dating difficult. The lower part has wide overlapping petals with a pointed end and an ornate fleshy centre, the upper part is smaller and has a single row of half petals going upwards.

8th-9th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, at the Tibet Museum in Lhasa.

8th-9th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, at the Tibet Museum in Lhasa.

This is a similar portrait, on a plain base. The buddha’s outer robe covers both shoulders and and forms v-shaped concentric folds.

9th century, Nepal, Tara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie's.

9th century, Nepal, Tara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Tara holds a long-stemmed lotus in her left hand and does the gesture of generosity with the other. There is a small flaming halo fastened to her shoulders. Her long lower garment is held in place with a belt, both decorated with an incised motif she stands on a pedestal common to the late Licchavi and the Thakuri (Transitional) period.

9th-10th century, Nepal, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy, same as before.

9th-10th century, Nepal, Maitreya, gilt copper alloy, same as before.

Identified through the stupa in his headdress, in conjunction with the pot of water in his left hand and the minute antelope skin over his left arm (two attributes also associated with Avalokiteshvara), Maitreya sits in a relaxed posture on a double-lotus pedestal, his left foot resting on a lotus flower stemming from it.

9th-10th c., Nepal, Maitreya, Licchavi, gilt c.a., 27,8 cm, patterned dhoti, waterpot, antelope skin over forearm, stupa in festooned headdress, detail, Christie's

He wears a beaded necklace, bracelets, a sacred cord, a broad sash (across his chest) and an ankle-length dhoti decorated with an incised pattern and held in place with a belt, with a pendant that passes under his ankle.  There is a rosary in his right hand.

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