Nepal, seated buddhas

10th-11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

10th-11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The historical buddha is seated on a double-lotus base over a plain plinth with an inscription that says ‘homage to Sonam Gyaltsen’ (presumably added later given that this important Tibetan lama lived during the 14th century). He wears an outer garment that covers only one shoulder (unlike buddhas produced during most of the Licchavi period) and has both hands in the dhyana mudra (meditation).

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, at the Beijing Museum.

11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper alloy, at the Beijing Museum.

Shakyamuni, with broad neck and shoulders, is seated on a brocade cushion over a throne supported by two yakshas, elephants and lions, his transparent robe revealing a punched navel and the wavy upper hem of his dhoti, one end of the garment forming a fishtail over his left shoulder.

11th-12th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt metal, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

11th-12th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt metal, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Also seated on a thick brocade cushion, this buddha has one hand doing the dhyana mudra, the other ‘calling Earth to witness’ (bhumisparsha mudra).

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