Tibet, Yellow Jambhala (12)

Undated (16th century?), Tibet, Jambhala, copper alloy with copper and turquoise inlay, photo by Holly Auction, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This masterpiece depicts Yellow Jambhala seated on a double-lotus base, his mongoose spitting ‘raining jewels’, a jewelled fruit in his right hand, adorned with copper and stone-inlaid princely jewellery and crown, a long floral garland worn as a sacred thread, a flaming jewel finial on his chignon, his right foot over a vase resting on a lotus tendril fastened to the rim of the base.

16th century circa, Tibet, Yellow Jambhala (labelled Kubera), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This one holds a citron and his mongoose is disgorging a single row of jewels that match his sacred thread and his bracelets and armlets.

16th-17th century, Tibet, same as before (labelled Kubera), private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

Rather than Kubera, who is rarely depicted in the Himalayas, this is likely to be Yellow Jambhala, who holds a citron in his right hand (Kubera would hold a pomegranate, a mace or a money bag). Instead of holding a mongoose in his left hand he appears to hold a string of jewels.

17th century, Tibet or Nepal, Jambhala, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Vajra Gallery on http://www.vajragallery.com.

Yellow Jambhala may have the effigy of a buddha (Ratnasambhava) in his headdress.

18th century, Tibet, Jambhala, gilt copper alloy, at the British Museum in London (UK).

Another example of the mongoose disgorging ‘raining jewels’, a design much used with Nepalese Malla sculptures and formed by various strands of beads ending with stone-inlaid round or tear-shaped pendants.


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