This rare sculpture depicts Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom, holding in his left hand the stem of a lotus that supports a manuscript. His right hand does the gesture of supreme generosity. He wears a long dhoti held in place with a coarse belt – unusual for the area – and a thin celestial scarf. His jewellery includes a beaded necklace with his habitual three-tooth pendant. There is a flaming halo behind his head with a sun at the centre made form his hair, according to Sothby’s. His wide-open almond eyes are inlaid with silver.
Seated with a leg pendant, this bodhisattva holds a roundish object in his left hand, possibly a gourd or a vessel. Both Avalokiteshvara and Maitreya (in his bodhisattva appearance) may hold a pot of water but in the Swat Valley area they hold it in a different manner.
This hairstyle points to Manjushri, who normally holds a manuscript.
Seated in the vajra position, on a cushion over an unusual pedestal, Maitreya holds a pot of water in his left hand and raises his right hand in the fear-allaying gesture. He wears a crown with rosettes, a necklace and armbands. His hair is braided into two long tresses that fall over his shoulders.