Tibet, Vajrasattva – seated (4)

13th century circa, Tibet, Vajrasattva, copper alloy with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby's.

13th century circa, Tibet, Vajrasattva, copper alloy with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Vajrasattva sits in the vajra position, his attributes missing, adorned with a three-leaf crown with rosettes and flowing ribbons, floral earrings, matching necklace and armbands, a longer necklace and matching bracelets and anklets, his lower garment held in place with a belt, the ends of which seem to sprout up like plants, his tall chignon topped with a finial with a triratna design (three round gems), long strands of hair falling over his shoulders.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, brass with silver and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, brass with silver and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

It is quite unusual for the rim of the crown and the hem of the dhoti to be inlaid with silver and not copper, as on this example. The artist has used large and medium stone cabochons, mainly turquoise, to decorate his accessories. The deity holds an upright thunderbolt sceptre (vajra) and a bell with a vajra handle.

13th-14th-c-tibet-vajrasattva-brasssil-hemcrownturq-164-cm-close-christies

He wears a scarf that forms an arch behind his head, decorated with a stippled and incised pattern, the ends flowing above his elbows. Another singular feature are the strips of fabric, probably from his belt, that flow on each side of his waist.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This one has a lotus bud finial on his chignon.

Undated (14th century circa?), Tibet, Vajrasttva, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi (India).

Undated (14th century circa?), Tibet, Vajrasttva, gilt copper alloy and stone inlay, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi (India).

14th-c-tibet-vajrasttva-gilt-c-a-stones-triratna-design-tibet-house-m-in-new-delhi

This buddha wears armbands with a triratna design and matching ankle adornments, belt and long necklace. He also wears a shorter necklace studded with four gems, floral earrings,  a floral crown with bows, ribbons and a simplified Kirtimukha design at the front. There is a half vajra finial on his chignon.

14th-c-tibet-vajrasttva-gilt-c-a-stones-incised-dhotitriratna-design-tibet-house-m-in-new-delhi

The folds of his dhoti are gathered in a scallop shape under his ankles. The garment is decorated with an incised rice grain pattern between stippled lines.

14th century, same as before, copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

14th century, same as before, copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A different style, with different jewellery and a lower garment with a copper-inlaid hem, thicker folds and a belt knotted on the sides.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy, published by Carlo Cristi.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy and turquoise inlay, published by Carlo Cristi.

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