14th-15th c., Tibet, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.
This sculpture of Vajrasattva has a few interesting elements, such as the shape of the long strands of hair arranged over his shoulders…
the design of his earrings – blending the Malla-style flower and lotus bud into one spiral inlaid with two stones …
and the way the artist has adorned the tail end of the dhoti with a gem-studded floral motif that matches the shin ornaments. The garment has a stippled and incised decoration including the traditional rice grain pattern we have seen on many Nepalese sculptures from the Malla period.
Here, the thunderbolt sceptre is held horizontally towards the heart. The deity wears a shawl or scarf with an incised hem, a loosely draped dhoti, princely jewellery inlaid with tiny gemstones and a matching belt.
There is a barely perceptible Kirtimukha on the central panel of his ornate crown, and the flowing ribbons have a floral design on their extremity.
The face is painted with cold gold and pigments, his short scarf forms a semi-circular frame behind his shoulders, he holds the vajra upright between his thumb and the tip of his middle finger and the bell against his left hip.