Tibet, Vajradhara alone (5)

15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with coral and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with coral and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Vajradhara’s accessories are inlaid with small stone and coral cabochons, including the pendants from his belt placed over his knees. His conical chignon is topped with a half vajra finial, his celestial scarf forms an arch behind his head then passes under his forearms. His lower garment reaches just below knee level, thus showing large foliate ankle ornaments.

Same as before, with stone inlay.

15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

From the 15th century onwards, Chinese-style figures wear a long and loose-fitting dhoti with folds around the ankle. As a consequence, the anklets usually consist in plain beading that shows discreetly below the garment. The scarf is often more like a shawl that covers part of the back, with more or less extravagant loops at elbow level.

16th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, copper alloy and silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

16th century, (Central?) Tibet, Vajradhara, copper alloy and silver-inlaid eyes, (stones missing), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The absence of gilding and the facial features are typical of Tibet while the floral earrings with a foliate pendant (small in this case), together with the use of a shawl instead of a scarf and the ample draping of the dhoti have been inspired by the Chinese fashion of the time.

16th-c-tibet-vajradhara-c-a-sil-inlaid-eyes-17-cm-dhoti-floral-incisions-sothebys

His dhoti and shawl are richly incised with a floral pattern in the Central Tibetan fashion.

16th century circa, Tibet, Vajradhara, brass, private collection, photo by Koller.

16th century circa, Tibet, Vajradhara, brass, private collection, photo by Koller.

The same goes for this work. His missing crown reveals a tubular chignon topped with a lotus bud finial.

 

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