Tibet, Vajravarahi (9)

18th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

18th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

On occasions, this form of Vajrayogini has the head of a wild boar instead of having the snout or part of the head sticking out of her own. The above is a rare four-armed form of the deity, holding a skull cup and a ritual staff in her left hands, a vajra sceptre and an elephant goad (vajra hook) in her right hands.

18th-c-tibet-vajravarahi-gilt-c-1380-cm-close-up-from-gtsug-lakhang

Her face has been painted with cold cold and pigments. She is adorned with Indian-style jewellery and festooned belt, a skull crown and a garland of severed heads.

18th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

18th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This Chinese-style variant depicts her holding a skull cup and a flaying knife in her main hands, a drum in her top right hand. The top left hand displays the karana mudra, a gesture to ward off evil, and may have held an object, now missing. She wears a tiger skin dhoti and a celestial scarf with snake-like ends.

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