Nepal, Thakuri Avalokiteshvara (2)

9th-10th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie's.

9th-10th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Avalokiteshvara is shown here with an unusual one-panel crown with a scroll design and a (missing) cabochon at the centre, his chignon topped with a finial, adorned with stone-inlaid jewellery (the gems also missing), holding the long stem of a lotus flower with his left hand and a small oval object in the palm of his (rather large) right hand. His dhoti, slightly shorter on one side and pleated at the front, is enhanced by a sash across the hips (rather lower down, in fact) and knotted to one side. His body is elegantly swaying to one side.

10th-11th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, at the British Museum (UK).

10th-11th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper, at the British Museum (UK).

This sculpture depicts him with a thin and straight trunk, long arms and hardly any hips, standing on a  double-lotus base with broad petals, adorned with a three-leaf crown with a small effigy of Amitabha at the front, large floral earrings, beaded jewellery, foliate armbands and a sacred thread. Both the lower garment and the sash are decorated with an incised pattern.

12th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the Dallas Museum (USA).

12th century, Nepal, Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy, at the Dallas Museum of Art (USA).

This well-preserved and richly-gilt figure also has an effigy of Amitabha at the front of his three-leaf crown, which identifies him as Avalokiteshvara. His lower garment is a lot shorter on one side and complemented by an ornate belt and a sash. The right hand displays the varada mudra, the other probably held a long-stemmed lotus.

 

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