Nepal, Vajradhara – early Malla period

14th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Christie's.

14th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Seated in the vajra position, his hands crossed over his heart in the vitarka mudra, the buddha holds lotuses that support a bell and a thunderbolt (both broken). His chignon is topped with an unusual finial, similar to a 14th century Nepalese-style Vajradhara at the Fondation Alain Bordier (published in a previous post in the Tibetan section)

14th c., Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt c.a.+stones, 35,2 cm, Chepu in crown, Christie's.

The central panel of his crown shows a curious Kirtimukha, himself wearing a crown. 14th c., Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt c.a.+stones, 35,2 cm, cakras on soles, rice grain motif, Christie's

The hem of his garment is incised with a rice-grain motif similar to that of Khasa Malla works.

14th century circa, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy, at the Zurich museum.

14th century circa, Nepal (labelled Tibet), Vajradhara, gilt copper inlaid with hard stones, at the  Rietberg Museum in Zürich (Austria).

On this variant (likely to be the work of a Nepalese artist, although it may have been found in Tibet or made for a Tibetan patron) Vajradhara holds the attributes in his hands. His thin celestial scarf passes around his forearms before splitting in two extremities shaped like jewelled vegetation. The bottom part of his dhoti is arranged under his ankles in a creative and elegant manner. There is a half vajra finial on top of his head.

14th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection.

14th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

This is another good example of the early Malla style, with jewelled flowers sprouting from the upturned ends of the celestial scarf, the dhoti elegantly knotted on each side of the waist, the five-leaf crown with a larger panel at the centre and foliate ribbons, two necklaces, two types of ankle ornaments, one them worn high up and matching the armbands, all of them richly inlaid with gemstones. In this particular case, the crown is adorned with large bows shaped like half-flowers. His tear-shaped urna is  studded with a gem. He has a square face with a wide forehead typical of the period.

15th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

15th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The above figure wears a long dhoti with an incised hem, loosely gathered and covering part of the pedestal.

15th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

15th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

On this harmonious piece, the artist has used a large amount of stone cabochons to decorate the shorter necklace and the belt. Vajradhara wears a thin scarf over his shoulders, with no fancy extremities. He has no anklets. His dhoti has an unusual crinkle design on the sides and thick pleating under the ankles. The waistband of the garment is marked with a deep incision below the navel.

 

 

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