Nepal, 12-hand Amoghapasha

11th century circa, Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

11th century circa, Nepal, Amoghapasha, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Particularly worshipped in Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara is shown here in his rarer one-face and 12-hand form. He wears a single-panel headdress with an effigy of Amitabha at the centre, a sacred thread, a long dhoti, a sash knotted to one side. The absence of jewellery gives it a sobriety proper to the previous Licchavi period. His upper left hand holds a sword, two of the middle ones hold a pot of water, the other two a round object, possibly a jewel. The main right hand does the fear-allying gesture, another two are extended palm out (gesture of supreme generosity), the middle one could be holding a lotus flower and the next one up  a lotus stalk. There is a serrated flaming halo fastened to his back.

11th-12th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper, photo by Xanadu, also published by Bonhams.

11th-12th century, Nepal, Amoghapasha Lokeshvara, gilt copper, photo by Xanadu, also published by Bonhams.

This is an interesting mixture of Nepalese features, a halo with U-shaped flames seen on works from Jammu and Kashmir, and a double-lotus base with flat pointed petals more proper to Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. In his left hands there is a manuscript, a triratna (set of three jewels), 2 pots of water, a rosary. Three of his right hands display an incised lotus flower, another one holds a small oval object. His lower garment is richly decorated with bands of incised scrolls and flowers, he wears a sash knotted to one side and a long sacred thread but no jewellery except for a short necklace.

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