Swat Valley, seated buddhas

7th-8th century, Tara, Swat Valley, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie's.

7th-8th century, Tara, Swat Valley, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

In a previous post there was a sculpture of Tara (a female buddha) standing, with her left hand cupped as if to hold an object. We can see from this sculpture how the lotus is supported upright in the palm of her hand rather than between her fingers. She wears the same type of inverted U-shape tight-fitting bodice, over a finely pleated dhoti. Her right hand displays the gesture of supreme generosity.

7th-8th century, labelled Kashmir, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, published on www.liveauctioneers.com

7th-8th century, labelled Kashmir, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, published on http://www.liveauctioneers.com

Shakyamuni (the historical buddha) is seated on a Swat-Valley style throne supported by two lions – no yaksha in the middle –  with a tasseled cloth at the front. The square shape of the cloth and the horizontal row of tassels at the top are unusual but the robe with thick transversal pleating that covers both shoulders is typical of Swat Valley works and the hairstyle is reminiscent of earlier sculptures from Gandhara.

7th-8th century, Swat Valley, Vajrasttava, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie's.

7th-8th century, Swat Valley, Vajrasttava, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Vajrasattva (an aspect of the supreme buddha) is seated in the vajra position, holding a thunderbolt sceptre (vajra) in his right hand at heart level and a bell against his left hip. His long dhoti is deeply incised with folds.

7th-8th-c-swat-valley-vajrasattva-bronze-9-cm-close-up

He has silver-inlaid eyes and is adorned with a crown and jewellery, including large floral earrings and a necklace with flat squarish beads. Long strands of braided hair fall over his shoulders.

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