Tibet, famous lamas (9)

15th century, Tibet, Chogle Namgyal, copper alloy, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Founder of the Bodong school and monastery, Bodong Panchen Chogle Namgyal is depicted as a deified lama, holding the stems of lotuses – one supporting a vajra sceptre – dressed in patched monastic attire richly engraved with clouds, flowers and geometrical figures, a large raised urna on his forehead, his hat also decorated with an incised motif.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Ngawang Dragpa, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

One of 108 sculptures included in Bonhams auction called ‘Portraits of the Masters’ held on 14th March 2017, this one depicts a Sakya master who does the teaching gesture with his right hand and holds a long-life vase in the other. His eyes are inlaid with silver, his lips and part of his vest with copper. Bonham’s tell us that he lived in Guge (Western Tibet) and is known as Guge Khenchen. An inscription on the back says ‘homage to the venerable lord Ngawang Drakpa. Virtue! Good Fortune!.

His robe is made of patches with an incised hem, at the front and at the back.

16th century, Tibet, Jigten Wangchuk, gilt copper alloy, same as before.

His shoulders covered with his meditation cloak, Jigten Wangchuk (1454-1532), a hierarch of the Taglung Kagyu order, does the ‘turning the wheel of dharma’ gesture.


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