17th century (Mongolia?), Padmasambhava, zitan wood (red sandalwood) with gilding and lacquer, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s .
A rare wooden image of ‘Guru Rimpoche’, holding a vajra sceptre pointing to his heart and a skull cup traditionally containing nectar, jewels and a long-life vase, topped with a lotus flower in this case. His lotus hat is topped with a half-vajra and a (missing) vulture feather. The multiple layers of lobed petals on the lotus base is a recurrent design in Mongolia and Bhutan.
As a layman, he always has both arms covered and usually wears a cloud-shaped cape over his shoulders.
The Indian scholar is nearly always depicted with his hands in the teaching gesture (‘turning the wheel of dharma‘). He wears a pointed hat with long lappets and monastic garments that leave the right arm bare. The lotuses that were once fastened to his arms probably supported a stupa and a vase.
Je Tsongkhapa is represented as a deified lama, holding the stem of lotuses that support the hilt of a sword and a manuscript. He wears fine Chinese silk garments and sits on a Yongle-style lotus base.