Tibet, Vajradhara with lotuses

15th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

15th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Koller.

On occasions, instead of holding the thunderbolt sceptre and bell in his hands crossed over his heart, Vajradhara holds the stem of lotuses that support his attributes, usually placed upright.

15th-c-tibet-vajradhara-gilt-c-a-stones-215-cm-rubiesturq-lapis-koller

On this remarkable sculpture, he is adorned with princely jewellery inlaid with a multitude of medium-size turquoise and lapis lazuli cabochons complemented by small rubies (or spinels). His tall chignon is topped with a foliate adornment and a half-vajra finial. We will notice the moon-like face (typical of Tibet) the rings on his small fingers (a tradition from Nepal, like the rich gilding associated with abundant stone-inlay), the shawl, loose dhoti and belt with foliate pendants that rest over his knees (elements of Chinese origin).

15th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy, coral and turquoise, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

15th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy, coral and turquoise, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This buddha wears a five-leaf crown with Kirtimukha on the front panel. His attributes are supported by unusual lotuses with prongs.

Same as before, gilt copper and stones, private collection, photo by Christie's.

Same as before, gilt copper and stones (and coral?), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Another marriage of Nepalese, Tibetan and Chinese elements. There is an incised pattern on his lower garment and on the rim of the pedestal.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

The sprouting-bud ear ornaments worn by this buddha are often seen on Nepalese sculptures from the late Malla period.

Same as before.

Same as before.

The attributes above are so small they are barely visible among the foliage, especially the thunderbolt sceptre to his right. The elongated torso and the innovative style of his jewellery point to a later rather than earlier date.

16th century circa, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper with turquoise and pigments, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

16th century circa, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt copper, is or was at the Jokhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

Here, the face has been painted with cold gold and pigments and his hair dyed with lapis lazuli powder, possibly at a later date.  The design on the front panel of his crown ressembles the triratna symbol at the front of the stupa at Sanchi. His thunderbolt sceptre is placed horizontally on the flower.

 

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