Tibet, various lamas (4)

15th-16th century, Tibet, Konchog Yonten, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

A classic 15th-16th century brass sculpture, depicting a Tibetan teacher with a flaming jewel in his left hand. An inscription on the base identifies him as Konchog Yonten.

15th century, Tibet, Konchog Gyaltsen, parcel gilt silver, at the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyères (Switzerland).

This lama’s body is made of silver, the robe and lotus base are gilt. We have seen a few examples of parcel gilding on much earlier Khasa Malla works, and it was popular in China in more recent centuries, but not so in Tibet.

15th century circa, Tibet, Pema Nyida Zangpo, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This Tibetan character holding a long-life vase in his left hand and a pill between his right thumb and forefinger has a diamond incised in the palm of his right hand.

There are traces of cold gold and pigments on his face. His monastic garments are decorated with a chased floral pattern.

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

A  portrait of a deified Kunga Gyalpo, a 13th century Sakya teacher, holding the stem of lotuses that support a vajra sceptre and a bell.

Labelled “1300-1600”, Tibet, Yongzin Ngawang Zangpo, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise and silver inlay and pigment, at the San Francisco Museum of Art (USA).

This innovative piece depicts an abbot who lived during the 16th century (1527-1593). The use of silver inlay for the lions supporting the throne and turquoise chips for the vajra sceptres at the front and in the corners is very “modern” and points to the 17th century onwards, as do the elongated limbs and torso together with the use of gilding. The lama holds his left hand in the meditation gesture and may have sustained a book or an other object in it.

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