Pala India, a few yaksha figures

Circa 10th-11th century, Eastern India, unidentified yaksha, black stone, private collection, photo on Kapoor Galleries

This friendly and beautifully crafted yaksha must be an important entity since he is accompanied by two apsaras, in clouds attached to his halo, and two attendants with a bodhisattva appearance, who lean on a post and hold a lotus. Like Yellow Jambhala, he holds a citrus fruit in his right hand, and the jewel on his chignon points to a wealth deity too, but there is no mongoose in his left hand. Instead, he holds the stem of a blue lotus.

Pala period (circa 12th century?Northeast India?), Vajrapani, copper alloy, private collection, photo Ethereal  .

Clad in a tight-fitting tiger skin loin cloth with a thick border, wrathful Vajrapani wields a vajra sceptre and does a threatening gesture – the attribute missing from his left hand was probably a lasso or perhaps a bell.

12th century, Northeast India? (labelled ‘Pala period’), Chaturbhuja Mahakala, stone, private collection, photo on Ethereal as before.

Mahakala with four hands, seated on a victim whose right arm shows under him, his right leg pendent and the foot placed on a lotus. He holds a flaying knife and a skull cup in his main hands, a staff in the upper left one, a (now broken) sword in the other, and is adorned with jewellery, snakes and a garland of human skulls.

12th-13th century, Northeast India, Jambhala, Pala style, copper alloy, private collection, photo on  Lempertz.

Yellow Jambhala, seated in royal ease, his right foot on a vase of abundance supported by a lotus bud, displaying a citron in his right hand while the mongoose in his left hand disgorges jewels onto his lap. The plinth of the lotus base is decorated with scrolling vines.

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Pala India, a few wrathful deities (5)

Circa 12th century, Eastern India, Achala (labelled ‘Vighnantaka’), bronze, private collection, photo on Rossi & Rossi

Vighnantaka is a generic term to refer to wrathful deities who remove obstacles, such as Achala. He is depicted here in his blue form (nila) identified by the way he bites his lower lip with his upper fangs. He stands on Ganapati, wielding a flaming sword with the right hand and doing a threatening gesture with the other, a lasso wound around the forefinger.

12th century, Northeast India, Krodha Vighnantaka? (labelled ‘protector’), bronze with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

We saw a  very similar  12th century Tibetan figure identified as Krodha Vighnantaka by Sotheby’s. This deity with a yaksha appearance may have one head and two hands or three heads and six hands. The above has silver-inlaid eyes and teeth, a copper-inlaid crown, he wears a tiger skin loin cloth and snake adornments, including one to tie his hair. He holds a sword and a lotus in his top hands, a vajra stick (instead of another sword) and a lotus in the lower ones, his main hands are crossed over his heart.

12th century, Easter India, Mahakala, porphyritic basalt, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (UK).

Chaturbuja (four-arm) Mahakala stands with both feet on a victim, holding a skull cup and a flaying knife in his main hands, a rosary and a staff topped with a skull and a trisula in the upper ones. He is adorned with snakes, jewellery, a small tiara and a garland of severed heads, his flaming hair is tied with a snake.

12th century, Northern India, Achala, bronze (brass), private collection, photo on Artkhade.

Blue Achala, half kneeling and half crouching, his upper fangs biting his lower lip, wielding a sword and holding a lasso.

11th-12th century, Eastern India, Hevajra, parcel-gilt bronze, photo by Dr P. Pal in article on asianart

Guhyasamaja Hevajra is always depicted with Vajranairatmya, who has one head and two hands. He has 8 heads (in this case probably 5 small ones at the back), 4 legs, 16 hands, in which he holds skull cups containing animals and deities. They stand on four victims.

India, early buddhas

5th century, India, Sarnath, miniature stupa on lotus with seated Buddha, stone, at the Archaeological Museum in Sarnath (India).

Siddharta Gautama, seated ‘the European way’ on a throne supported by a lotus, his hands turning the wheel of dharma symbolically, his transparent sanghati covering both shoulders.

6th century, India, Sarnath, Buddha, stone, at the Archaeological Museum in Sarnath (India).

6th-7th century, India, Post-Gupta, later Sarnath style, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver and copper inlay, at the Met in New York (USA).

A smooth figure with silver-inlaid eyes and urna, copper inlaid lips, hem and cushion, seated on a rocky formation with a lion at the front atop a base with legs. The right hand does the gesture of supreme generosity, the other is in the meditation position and holds a piece of his robe, which covers only one shoulder and leaves the right arm bare.

7th-8th century, India, possibly Nalanda, Post-Gupta, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on Galerie Hioco

 

Northwest India, a rare bodhisattva

6th century, Northwest India (or Northwestern Provinces?), Avalokiteshvara, brass, at the Fondation Alain Border in Gruyère (Switzerland).

Avalokiteshvara is seated on a wicker hassock, his left foot placed on a lotus, his right arm resting on his knee, his head slightly tilted towards his hand. This pensive form of the bodhisattva, the use of a wicker seat and the design of the lotus in his left hand are common in Swat Valley art, yet his eyes are not inlaid with silver, his dhoti is arranged differently at the waist, a large piece of cloth spreads over the seat like butterfly wings, and there are two lotuses sprouting from the base ( we saw a couple of brassy works from Jammu and Kashmir with this feature). He wears a singular and very spectacular headdress.

 

Pala India, various bodhisattvas (4)

8th-9th c., India NE, Nalanda, Avalokiteshvara, c.a.+sil., 22 cm, tenzingasianart.com

8th-9th century, Northeastern India, Nalanda, Avalokiteshvara, copper alloy with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo by Tenzing Asian Art.

Avalokiteshvara is seated at royal ease on a throne with a stepped plinth and two recumbent lions at the front, his right foot placed on a lotus. He is adorned with floral accessories reminiscent of Swat Valley works and has an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress, a lotus embossed in the palm of his right hand, a sash across his chest.

11th century, Northeastern India, Lokanatha Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private col., photo on Christie’s

Unlike the previous figure, who leans on his left arm, the above holds the stem of a lotus in his left hand. He also has an effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and a sash across his chest but no crown. Particularly popular in India, this form of Avalokiteshvara is known as Khasarpani Lokanata or Khasarpani Lokeshvara.

11th-12th century, Northeastern India, Maitreya, bronze with silver-inlaid eyes, private col., photo by Christie’s.

Maitreya, identified by the stupa in his headdress and the ritual water pot on the blue lotus to his left, is seated at royal ease with the left (rather than the right) leg pendent, his right hand doing a gesture to dispel fear.

11th century, Northeast India, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams.

Manjushri seated in the vajra position, sword in hand, presses the Prajnaparamita sutra against his heart.

12th century, India, Manjushri, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

A rare sculpture of him standing on a tall lotus pedestal with a stepped plinth, the backplate decorated with a stippled lotus motif and some elephants with birds on their head and some makaras around it. He brandishes a sword and holding a manuscript.

 

Pala India, various female deities (5)

 

12th-13th c., Northeastern India, Marici, bronze (brass), private collection, photo on Christie’s

The goddess of dawn and mercy in her 3-head and 6-hand form, with two human and a sow head, holding a vajra sceptre and a branch of the ashoka tree in her upper hands, an arrow? and a bow in the middle ones, and a needle and thread in the remaining hands. She stands on two victims atop a tall Pala-style base with a vase at the front.

10th century, Northeastern India, Vajrayogini (labelled ‘Vajravarahi’), bronze, private collection, photo on Christie’s

Skull cup and flaying knife in hand, Vajrayogini stands in a dancing pose on elephant-headed Ganapati. She is adorned with bone jewellery and a garland of severed heads.

9th-10th century, India, female figure (labelled ‘padmapani’), copper alloy, private collection, photo on Hanhai Auction

This elegant figure, probably Green Tara, holds the stem of a large lotus rising from the pedestal and displays supreme generosity with her other hand. She wears a long lower garment and a festooned belt with a beaded raining jewel pendant.

12th century, Northeastern India, Tara, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Ravenel.

White Tara, identified by her third eye and the eyes incised in the palm of her hands and the sole of her feet, is seated on a lotus supported by a classic stepped tortoise pedestal decorated with a chased motif. Instead of the usual braided chignon she wears her hair in a fan shape topped with a foliate ornament.

12th-13th century, Eastern India or Western Tibet, (labelled Tara), bronze with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo on Waddingtons.

This female entity (possibly Visvamata?) displays a gem in her right hand.

Undated (circa 12th century?), India, Tara, metal, (copper alloy with silver and copper inlay), Nyinjei Lam collection, photo on HAR

 

Pala India, Jambhala (4)

8th-12th century, India, Bihar, Nalanda site, Jambhala, bronze, photo from the  Huntington archive.

Yellow jambala, holding a citron and a jewel-spitting mongoose, seated at royal ease with both feet on a lotus base decorated with vases.

8th-12th century, India, Bihar, Nalanda site, Jambhala, bronze, photo from the Huntington Archive as above.

Seated with both legs pendent, his feet resting on vases.

8th-12th c., India, Bihar, Nalanda site, Jambhala, stone, photo from the Huntington Archive.

Seated at royal ease, his right foot and the toes of his left foot placed on large jewels coming out of vases.

8th-12th century, India, Bihar, Nalanda site, Jambhala, bronze, photo from the Huntington Archive .

Seated between a large conch shell and a lotus, his right leg pendent, the foot pressing on two large round objects, possibly jewels.

8th-12th century, India, Bihar, Nalanda site, Jambhala, bronze, photo from the Huntington Archive .

His right foot placed on a conch shell.

8th-12th century, India, Bihar, Devisthan Kundalpur temple, Jambhala, stone, photo from the Huntington Archive.

A big specimen with a mass of matted hair piled into a tall chignon, adorned with snake armbands, a floral necklace and garland, a sacred thread.

8th-12th century, India, Bihar, Nalanda site, Jambhala, stone, photo from the Huntington Archive .

Seated on a stepped base, with his left leg pendent.

10th c., India, Jambhala, gilt c.a., 11,5 cm, brought to Tibet, lab. Kuber, tenzingasianart.com

10th century, India, Jambhala (labelled Kubera), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Tenzing Asian Art

Seated on a lotus supported by vases.

11th c., India, Jambhala, bronze+sil.cop.gold+stones, 7 cm, lab. Kubera, tenzingasianart.com

11th century, India, Jambhala (labelled Kubera), bronze, private collection, photo by Tenzing Asian Art as before.

A striking figure with silver-inlaid eyes, teeth, necklace and crown, copper-inlaid nipples (and possibly nails), turquoise-inlaid earrings, seated at royal ease on a lotus supported by various figures.

Himalayan Region (Pala period, Northeastern India?, copper alloy with silver and stone inlay), private collection, photo on HAR

Circa 13th century, Northeast India, Jambhala, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams 2012.

An amazing sculpture of Jambhala seated inside two lotuses.