In the absence of the stupa in his headdress (of which only a prong remains), the hands doing the turning-the-wheel-of-dharma gesture identify this bodhisattva as Maitreya. The missing lotus attached to his left arm would have supported a water pot. Thought to have been made by a Nepalese artist (due to the style and the use of copper), the image is adorned with lapis lazuli, turquoise and coral, a conjunction in line with the Tibetan taste.
In a recent post, we saw a copper alloy Pala-style Khasarpani Lokeshvara seated in the same way, with a similar hairstyle (matted hair piled up, no crown) and short dhoti decorated with a stippled floral motif. The stupa in the headdress, the water pot among the lotus to his left and his hand gestures are all indications that this is Maitreya.
The water pot is usually to his left but here the pot is placed on the lotus to his right.
15th-16th century, labelled ‘Western Tibet, Guge style’, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, published on http://www.tenzingasianart.com.A standard image, with the water pot on a lotus to his left, a stupa in his headdress, his hands doing the dharmacakra mudra.
On 16th century Tibetan sculptures, the stupa is sometimes placed on the lotus to his right, in which case the chignon is topped with a lotus bud finial, while the water pot is on a lotus to his left.
Another Pala-style Maitreya with matted hair piled high up and a stupa at the front, his right foot resting on a lotus attached to the base, dressed in a short dhoti decorated with a stippled motif, a water pot on the lotus to his left. This time, adorned with princely jewellery.