Avalokiteshvara, in his 11-head and 8-arm form, stands on a small lotus with large overlapping petals, holding the usual attributes (rosary, lotus, bow, wheel of dharma, water pot), his main hands held together at heart level, the lower right hand displaying the gesture of supreme generosity.
There are various forms of Avalokiteshvara with one head and four hands, usually seated. The most common one, particularly popular in Tibet and Mongolia, is Shadakshari Lokeshvara. The main hands do the gesture of salutation/reverence, the other two hold a rosary and a lotus. This richly gilt masterpiece follows the style of Zanabazar.
He is adorned with beaded accessories and has the head of Amitabha on top of his own.
The same form of the deity, with an ample dhoti and a celestial scarf that forms loops around the elbows in the Chinese fashion.
Although this piece is labelled Song Dynasty, i.e. China, 960-1279 (but could be far more recent), it is reproduced here due to its striking similarity with a sculpture attributed to Mongolia and published in a previous post with the following comments: ‘The style recalls some 11th-12th century Tibetan brass statues with an equally tall chignon, rigid pose, flat billowing scarf, on a similar type of lotus base. Although labelled 14th century, it may be a more recent imitation.”
Some time after this was posted, the museum website labelled the item ’19th century’.