Nepal, Thakuri period – Vajrapani

10th century circa, Nepal, Vajrapani, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie's.

10th century circa, Nepal, Vajrapani, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Peaceful Vajrapani wears a tall three-leaf crown with the panels set apart, a dhoti held in place with a belt, a broad sash knotted to one side, bodhisattva jewellery including snake armbands, floral earrings and a matching necklace, and a sacred cord. A serrated flaming halo is attached to his back. He does the gesture of supreme generosity (varada mudra) with the right hand and holds a vajra in the other. He stands on a rectangular plinth, unusual in Nepal, incised with a dedication.

10th century, Nepal, Vajrapani, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, published by Carlton Rochell.

10th century, Nepal, Vajrapani, copper alloy with cold gold, private collection, published by Carlton Rochell.

This elegant figure with harmonious proportions stands on a double-lotus base (often seen on late Licchavi and Thakuri works), his left hand placed against his hip, a vajra in his right hand. He wears a dhoti much shorter on one side and decorated with an incised motif, the sash is shorter and placed lower down than on the previous image. His serene face with a downcast gaze has been painted with cold gold. He is adorned with floral earrings and a matching necklace and belt.

Same as before, at the Fondation Alain Bordier (Switzerland).

10th-11th century, Nepal, Vajrapani, copper and cold gold, at the Fondation Alain Bordier (Switzerland).

He may also do the vitarka mudra (debate, teaching) instead. The above wears a slightly lower crown but the same floral jewellery and serpentine armbands as the others.

10th-11th century, Nepal, Vajrapani, gilt copper, private collection.

10th-11th century, Nepal, Vajrapani, gilt copper, private collection.

There are several examples of Vajrapani doing the abhaya mudra (fear-allaying) with his right hand.

11th century, Nepal, Vajrapani, copper, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

11th century, Nepal, Vajrapani, copper, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This Vajrapani holds an egg-shaped object in his right hand (possibly a cowry shell), a vajra in the other.

 

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