Pala India, a few yaksha figures (2)

11th-12th century, India, Jambhala (labelled ‘Kubera’), bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, Arts d’Asie 10th June 2015, lot 168.

Yellow Jambhala is seated with his right leg pendent, the foot placed on a vase filled with jewels, on a  lotus base decorated with unusually thick beading and four groups of three jewels below the lotus seat. As usual he holds a gem-shaped citron in his right hand and a mongoose in the other, and wears a tight-fitting lower garment, a scarf, princely jewellery and a lotus bud knop. 

11th-12th century, Eastern India, Jambhala, stone, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A191AS lot 376.

The same form of Jambhala, seated on a large pot with a lid, atop a lotus seat with scrolling vines and buds below. He grips a small fruit with his right hand while holding a mongoose that disgorges pearls. There are two celestial beings (apsaras) at the top.

12th century, Northeast India, Kubera, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams, Hong Kong (classified as Yellow Jambhala on HAR).

A very rare and interesting image of a wealth deity with a friendly yaksha appearance, holding a gem-shaped citron in his right hand like Yellow Jambhala, but with an ingot in his left hand (instead of a mongoose). According to textual sources, Kubera may hold a mace, a mongoose or a horn to hold coins in his left hand, and a hook, a pomegranate, a money bag or a mace in his right hand.

Pala India, Shakyamuni (4)

9th-10th c., Northeast India, Shakyamuni, brass, is or was at the Lima Lakhang in Lhasa (Tibet), published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The historical buddha is seated on a Nalanda-style double-lotus atop a throne covered with a cloth and decorated with viyalas and stupas, topped with a parasol. The nimbus behind the buddha’s head is embossed with a bodhi tree, under which he gained enlightenment.

10th-11th century, Northeast India, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo by Millon.

A Kurkihar-style buddha, standing, holding a piece of his garment in his left hand and showing the palm of his right hand in a gesture of supreme generosity. He is adorned with a tripartite crown, a necklace and earrings.

11th century, Northeast India, Kurkihar, Shakyamuni, bronze, photo on Artkhade .

Crowned and seated, his right hand calling Earth to witness his enlightenment.

11th-12th century, India (labelled ‘Pala’), Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on Sanjay Kapoor Inc.    

We have come across a few similar brass sculptures with silver-inlaid eyes of the historical buddha seated on a lotus base. The above has a small vajra sceptre before him. The hem of his sanghati is decorated with a chased geometrical pattern.

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Shakyamuni at Bodhgaya, brass with silver and copper inlay, photo by Björn Arvidsson for the Fondation Alain Bordier in Gruyère (Switzerland).

Shakyamuni is seated on an embroidered cushion with Kirtimukha at the front, atop a throne supported by two erect snow lions, the goddess of Earth, a male figure, two elephants and a central figure seated at ease on the back of an animal. 

See also the page “Bodh Gaya-type seated buddhas” in the left-hand margin of this blog.

Pala India, various bodhisattvas (5)

12th century?, Northeast India, Manjushri (labelled ‘simhanadavalokiteshvara’?), bronze with copper inlay, private collection, photo on Tajan

A rare image of vadisimha Manjushri, seated on a roaring lion, his left leg pendent, his hands doing the dharmacakra mudra and holding the stem of blue lotuses, each supporting a book topped with three pearls.

12th century, Northern India, Vajrapani, bronze, private collection, photo on Artkhade

Peaceful Vajrapani seated with the left leg pendent, holding a vajra sceptre before his heart in his right hand and leaning on the other while holding the stem of a lotus.

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Bihar, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), bronze with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo and details on Christie’s .

Flanked by lotuses, Avalokiteshvara displays a lotus embossed in the palm of his right hand, held out in the gesture of supreme generosity. His left hand holds the stem of one of the flowers.

11th-12th century, Eastern India, Padmapani (Avalokiteshvara), bronze (brass), private collection, photo on Matthew Barton Ltd Matthew Barton Ltd.

Pala India, various female deities (6)

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Mahapratisara, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

A rare sculpture of Pratisara with eight arms but only one head instead of four, holding in her right hands, from top to bottom, an arrow, a vajra sceptre?, a sword, and a sling; in her left hands she has a bow, a trident, a wheel and possibly a manuscript.

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Vajrayogini, bronze (brass), private collection, photo on Christie’s   

Vajrayogini, standing on a victim with both feet and facing the viewer, brandishing a flaying knife in her right hand and holding a skull cup in the other, a (partly broken) ritual staff in the crook of her left arm. On paintings, this form may be red, yellow or green (known as vajrapranava).

11th-12th century, Northeast India, Chandali, part of a lotus mandala, brass with silver inlay, private collection, photo on Bonhams

This dakini is identified by the wheel and the ploughshare in her hands. (Alternatively she may hold a corpse and a heart). She wears a leopard skin loin cloth (see close up on HAR), a garland of skulls, bone jewellery. The rim of her crown and her necklace are inlaid with silver. We saw an 11th century Hevajra from Northeast India in a similar style, including the mitre-like flaming hair.

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.

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