This rare sculpture depicts a buddha seated on a cushion with a copper and silver inlaid pattern typical of the Gilgit area (with a textile design from Central Asia), on a throne supported by two lions and a yaksha between two columns, a row of tassels at the top, a rocky formation below, the backplate or mandorla is missing. The buddha has silver-inlaid eyes and a copper-inlaid lower lip. He wears an unusual undergarment with silver and copper inlaid roundels and a sanghati with a v-shape neckline and concentric folds – a model often seen on Kashmiri works from the same period.
One end of the robe rests over his left shoulder and another piece over his left knee, a rare feature which L.N. Laurent relates to another two buddhas, one attributed to Gilgit and presently at the Potala and another attributed to Kashmir and presently at the Norton Simon Museum, both published in a previous post and reproduced below for ease of comparison. In his view, all three sculptures were made in the same atelier, although not necessarily at the same time. For more information, in particular why this buddha could also depict Vairochana, see the full article by L.N. Laurent on: http://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/journals/ret/pdf/ret_26_06.pdf.
This buddha also wears an undergarment with a silver and copper inlaid motif.
The circular pattern on the lower part of this buddha’s undergarment is often seen on Kashmiri buddhas.