Tibet, karmapas (7)

15th century, Tibet, Karma Pakshi, bronze (brass) with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

A classic portrait of the second karmapa, dressed in full monastic garments and distinctive black hat with a diamond at the front and a sun-and-moon symbol on the top.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Karma Pakshi, bronze with traces of gilding, private collection, photo same as before.

The same, more youthful and without facial hair, his garments decorated with an incised border.

15th century, Tibet, Karmapa, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

A very similar image, possibly of the same person, dressed in the same style, his chest partly uncovered, the face painted with cold gold and pigments.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Karmapa, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction.

This older hierarch holds a long-life vase in both hands.

16th-17th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s https://www.sothebys.com.

An unusual portrait of a karmapa with powerful facial features and oversized hat wearing stiff garments with a very broad hem decorated with a stippled and incised pattern and coarse beading.

16th century, Tibet, Karmapa, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk..

18th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Arcimboldo http://www.arcimboldo.cz.

We have seen many deified lamas, but only one karmapa before. This one holds a vajra sceptre and a vajra bell in his hands crossed over his heart together with the stem of lotuses that support a round jewel and a book.

 

 

 

 

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Tibet, Vajravarahi (14)

Undated (circa 13th century?), Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze with cold gold and pigments, published in The Potala Holy Palace in the Snow Land, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/9089.

Vajravarahi, with her usual dakini appearance, standing on Kalaratri atop a double lotus pedestal with a tall plinth decorated with beading and an incised geometrical pattern, wielding a flaying knife and holding a skull cup, a sow’s head clearly protruding from her right temple, a garland of severed heads around her neck, a large lotus and jewel finial on her head. Her ritual staff is missing from the loop on her left shoulder.

14th-15th century, (Tibet), Vajravarahi, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

This one also has her right knee on a lotus springing from the base. There is a triple gem at the apex of the flaming arch.

15th century, (Tibet?), Vajravarahi, zitan wood (red sandalwood) with cold gold, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

The four-hand form of Vajravarahi/Vajrayogini normally has a sow head instead of a human head. If this is her, one of her additional hands once held a drum.

16th century, (Tibet), Vajravarahi, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

The sow’s head is sometimes obscured by the five-skull crown but we can see the snout above her right ear.

18th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt metal with pigments, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

This Chinese-style pot-bellied Vajravarahi has the sow’s head on top of her own, amidst her flaming hair.

 

Tibet, various lamas (11)

14th century, Tibet, lama, bronze with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s http://www.christies.com.

We are accustomed to 13th and 14th century copper alloy sculptures of lamas dressed in patched garments with silver-inlaid seams and copper-inlaid hems, sometimes seated on a silver and/or copper-inlaid cloth, in this case with a rice grain motif.

14th century, (Tibet), lama, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

On  this masterpiece the lama has silver-inlaid eyes and beaded hem, and a chased floral pattern on his cloak. He holds a vajra sceptre and a vajra bell.

15th-16th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel https://www.auction.de.

Stepped thrones supported by two lions and discreetly inlaid with turquoise and coral were particularly popular in Tibet around the 13th and 14th century. The above has a more showy decoration, including wheels, three gems on a scrolling vine and diamonds, studded with turquoise and clear gems (or glass replacements).

15th century, Tibet, lama, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.co.

This teacher wears loosely draped luxury silk garments with embroidered patches and hems, a plain piece of cloth resting over his right shoulder.

16th century, (Tibet), lama, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.co .

A similar style of clothing, with an incised lotus pattern.

16th century, (Tibet), Kagyu lama, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, same as before.

The distinctive hat of this lama has an embossed sun-and-moon symbol at the front. His lower garment is decorated with a stippled lotus pattern. He holds a manuscript in his left hand.

15th century, (Tibet), Sakya lama, gilt bronze, private collection, same as before.

17th century, (Tibet), lama, bronze (copper alloy), same as before.

18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Galerie Hioco http://www.galeriehioco.com.

Tibet, Green Tara (16)

16th-17th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s https://www.sothebys.com.

Green Tara, with a blue lotus to her left and an open lotus on the other side and under her right foot, her hands doing the usual gestures to show generosity and give refuge, her tall Pala-style Chignon topped with a flaming jewel, all her accessories inlaid with turquoise at the front and at the back (see next photo).

The petals on the lotus base go all the way round yet the central ones appear to be purposely unfinished.

15th-16th century, (Tibet), Tara, gilt bronze with stones, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

A similar style, with a carefully chased geometrical pattern adorning her garment.

16th century, Tibet, Tara, copper alloy, private collection, photo on https://images.trocadero.com/stores/Dragonspearl/items/1194135/picture1.jpg.

She may do the fear-allaying gesture with her left hand, as above.

17th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A Pala revival sculpture of Tara with traces of cold gold on her face, her long garment carefully pleated on one side.

18th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze (copper alloy) with cold gold, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze, is or was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Tibet, lamas and their feet

18th century, Tibet, lama, bronze with traces of gilding and pigments, at the Liverpool World Museum (UK).

Teachers are always seated and often depicted with both legs covered with their cloak.

18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s https://www.sothebys.com.

Or with their right foot uncovered, the sole facing upwards

17th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Renaud Montméat http://www.montmeat-asianart.com.

In this case, the big toe of the other foot is peeping under the cloth.

15th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com.

On these two 15th century sculptures, both feet are uncovered.

13th-14th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

We saw a very similar character from the Navin Kumar collection, including the boss on the sole of his right foot and the small vajra sceptre placed before him. The rim of the lotus base his lower and decorated with an incised lotus at the front.

 

 

 

 

 

Tibet, Padmasambhava (16)

16th century, Tibet, Padmsambhava, bronze with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams https://www.bonhams.com.

A standard portrait of Padmasambhava in his normal form, seated in the vajra position, holding a vajra sceptre pointing to his heart, a skull cup and a ritual staff, dressed in kingly attire, his head coiffed with a lotus hat with a vulture feather on top and a sun-and-moon symbol at the front, adorned with large earrings.

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt metal with cold gold and pigments, private collection, item 16285 on Himalayan Art Resources.

The use of pigments enhances the wide gaze of a youthful man, who sports the thin moustache and goatee we are accustomed to see him with.

Circa 17th century, Tibet, Padmsambhava, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller http://www.kollerauktionen.ch. .

Undated, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi (India), item 71847 on Himalayan Art Resources.

We saw a very similar work, complete with ritual staff (missing here from the loop on his shoulder), dated 18th century.

Undated, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

A similar subject on an innovative double-lotus base, with one row of overlapping three-lobed lotus petals (a recurrent feature in 17th century, and, to a lesser extent, 18th century Tibet, and also the standard design for the Bhutanese lotus base) and one row of very broad flat petals with a prominent curly tip.

12th century, Tibet, Padmsambhava, ivory or bone?, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/8048.

A rare composition with Padmasambhava as the central character, mythical figures on the inner arch, peaceful and wrathful deities on the outer arch.

Tibet, unidentified female entities

15th century, Tibet, Tsang province, Sonam Gyaltsen and atelier, gilt metal with cold gold, stones and pigments, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/1740.

This other standing character has three or four heads and eight hands, in which she holds a variety of attributes including jewelled wheels or rings, a manuscript, a piece of cloth.

13th century, Tibet, female bodhisattva, copper alloy, at the Tibet Museum in Lhasa (Tibet), photo by Jack Wan on http://i.pbase.com/o6/04/724404/1/77863145.nfHX5DZ6.DSC06095.jpg.

This could be White Tara, although she would normally have a third eye on her forehead (not an urna as above) and an eye incised or embossed in the palm of each hand.

Undated (circa 15th century), Tibet, (female deity), gilt metal with cold gold, pigments and stone inlay, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/1742.

A seated figure with three heads and eight hands, the main hands ‘turning the wheel of dharma’, the other hands holding an elephant goad, a lotus bud, a  stalk or stick, her lower right hand expressing supreme generosity.

18th century, Tibet, unknown, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Heritage Auctions https://www.ha.com.Possibly a retinue figure, this horse rider seems to have held something between her hands. Both her hair and the mane and tail of her mount are painted with red pigment.

12th century, Tibet, unidentified (possibly female), metal with paint, Nyingjei Lam collection on https://www.himalayanart.org/items/68438 

This intriguing personage standing in a fighting pose, dressed with a lower garment and scarf, adorned with a necklace and a garland, has three heads and six arms, the main hands doing the Vajrahumkara gesture.