Swat Valley area, various bodhisattvas – standing

6th century, Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy, published by the Kapoor Gallery on asiantart.com

6th century, Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, bronze, published by the Kapoor Gallery on asiantart.com

This is a rare sculpture of Avalokiteshvara depicted as a child, with Chinese or Central Asian features,  standing on a plain plinth typical of the Kashmir region. This bodhisattva is easily identified through the effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and the (broken) lotus in his left hand. He does the fear-allaying gesture with the other.

7th century circa, Swat Valley, Pakistan, bodhisattva, at the National Museum in Karachi (Pakistan).

7th century circa, Swat Valley, Pakistan, bodhisattva, at the National Museum in Karachi (Pakistan).

This figure, dressed in a long pleated garment and a sash across the hips, does the abhaya mudra with his right hand and holds the long stem of a tall flower in the other. He is adorned with a three-leaf crown typical of the region, some earrings and a necklace with a large floral design. We may be looking at Avalokiteshvara in his padmapani form but the three-tier flower is different to the lotus he normally holds.

9th century, Swat Valley or Kashmir, Avalokiteshvara, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection.

9th century, Swat Valley, Avalokiteshvara, brass with silver and copper inlay, private collection.

This bodhisattva, with silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips, wears a long robe that covers both shoulders and is normally associated with the historical buddha. He carries a water pot in his left hand and the position of his right fingers suggests that he once held a rosary, two attributes that correspond to Avalokiteshvara.

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