Nepal, early Malla buddhas- seated

14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, published by Conan Lang Arts of Asia.

14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, published by Conan Lang Arts of Asia.

The historical buddha is depicted with his hands in the meditation and calling-Earth-to-witness gestures, his conical chignon topped with a gold finial, his ears adorned with  stone-inlaid ornaments typical of the Nepalese Malla period, the urna on his forehead studded with a gem, his robe is arranged in a straight line across the chest, the hem decorated with two rows of beading, a small vajra is placed before him on a double-lotus base with flat round petals topped with smaller fat ones, often seen also on later Nepalese-style Tibetan works.

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

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

A different style, with a rounder chignon, elongated ear lobes reaching the shoulders, no ornaments, a tall double-lotus pedestal with a row of thick beading at the bottom. There is also a vajra before him.

Same as before, gilt copper, private collection.

Same as before, gilt copper, private collection.

On this larger sculpture with harmonious proportions, the buddha wears a transparent robe with two rows of piping along the edge. The waistband of his dhoti forms an irregular line at the front, its lower hem shows below the hem of the robe, across the shins. The tail end of the sanghati fans out in a thick mass of tight pleats under the ankles.

14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper and paint, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (UK).

14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper and paint, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (UK).

On all these sculptures, the small flap of fabric that rests over the left shoulder has a different shape. The above has a fishtail design.

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