Mongolia, 4-arm Avalokiteshvara (3)

17th c. late, Mongolia, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze, 25 cm, 29oct13, A167AS lot 114, Koller

Late 17th century, Mongolia, Shadakshari Lokeshvara, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Koller

Made in the style of Zanabazar, this sculpture depicts the bodhisattva of compassion in his common four-arm form: his main hands are almost closed before his heart to hold a wish-granting gem, the upper hands clutch a rosary and a lotus. 

18th c., Mongolia, Shadakshari, gilt bronze, 19,7 cm, 13may11, sale 6162 lot 1036, London Christie's

18th century, Mongolia, Shadakshari (Lokeshvara), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Christie’s.

18th c., Mongolia, Avalokiteshvara, (parcel-gilt) silver, Dolonnor style, 202955 HAR

18th century, Mongolia, Avalokiteshvara, silver, private collection, Dolonnor style, photo on HAR.

A parcel-gilt silver Avalokiteshvara with a large effigy of Amitabha on his head. 

18th century, Mongolia, Shadakshari Aval., gilt bronze, 10,7 cm, 17sep03, auction 1265 lot 79, Christie's

18th century, Mongolia, Shadakshari Avalokiteshvara, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Christie’s.

Because the term ‘chaturbhuja‘ refers to any four-arm form of an entity, sculptures of Avalokiteshvara with this specific iconography are usually labelled ‘Shadakshari Lokeshvara’, although Shadakshari is actually a female attendant. 

Mongolia, wrathful entities (8)

18th c., Mongolia, Mahakala, gilt c.a.+polyc., 20,3 cm, 18mar09, Indian&SE Asian A. lot 9, Sotheby's

18th century, Mongolia, Mahakala, gilt copper alloy with polychromy, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s 

The use of red pigment for the face as well as for the hair and beard makes this shadbhuja Mahakala look particularly irate. Clad in a tiger skin loin cloth and adorned with a garland of severed heads, snakes, a Chinese-style celestial scarf with serpentine ends, a skull crown, and large earrings, he stands on elephant-headed Ganapati, who holds a large jewel. Mahakala’s upper hands hold the hide of an elephant stretched across his back plus a rosary and a (missing) trident or a staff. The main hands hold a vajra-handled flaying knife and a skull cup filled with blood, the lower hands clutch a drum and a lasso.

18th c., Mongolia, unidentified, gilt bronze+pig., 9,8 cm, on bull, across sea of blood, worldly protector, 03oct17, the Heart of Tantra lot 3120, HK Sotheby's

18th century, Mongolia, unidentified (labelled ‘worldly protector’), gilt bronze with red pigment, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s, Hong Kong

This wrathful character, possibly a retinue figure, rides a male buffalo across a sea of blood and likely held an implement in his right hand (and maybe another in his left hand).

18th-19th c., Mongolia, Begtse Chen, gilt bronze, 9,2 cm, lab. Mahakala, 22apr21, Asian A. lot 74, Sydney Bonhams

18th-19th century, Mongolia, Begtse Chen (labelled ‘Mahakala’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Bonhams, Sydney

Apart from the Mongolian armour and boots specific to this dharmapala, the wrenched heart in his right hand identifies this character as Begtse Chen, who wields a scorpion-hilted sword (the blade now missing) in his right hand (see close up on above link). He normally stands on a lotus pedestal, trampling upon a horse with his right foot and a human victim with the other. 

Mongolia, Vajrasattva

18th century, Mongolia, Vajrasattva, metal (gilt copper alloy), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

Seated on a Zanabazar-style lotus base, Vajrasattva holds an upright vajra sceptre before his heart and an upturned vajra bell against his left hip. He is adorned with princely jewellery including a singular necklace and large earrings shaped like scrolling tendrils, a five-leaf crown, a flaming jewel finial, and a beaded belt with pendants.

18th century, Mongolia, Vajrasattva and consort, gilt metal, private collection, photo on HAR .

His consort usually holds the same attributes.

Mongolia, wrathful entities (7)

18th-19th century, Mongolia possibly, Vajrapani, gilt copper, private collection, photo on Bonhams, San Francisco.

The treatment of the hair, the style of the lotus base, and the copper repoussé accessories suggest this work was made in Mongolia, where the use of tiny cabochons for the jewellery and cross-belts of wrathful deities was popular around the 18th century.

18th-19th century, Tibet or Mongolia, Yama Dharmaraja, gilt copper cast and repoussé, private collection, photo on Christie’s, London.

Tibet or Mongolia, circa 1800, Yama Dharmaraja, polychrome bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 1409 lot 134.

The use of polychromy is a recurrent feature on late Mongolian portable sculptures. Yama stands on a male buffalo atop a female victim, accompanied by his sister and consort, Yami, always much smaller than him.

18th century, Mongolia, Mahakala, metal (gilt copper or copper alloy and pigments), private collection, photo on HAR .

Shangpa Mahakala has one head and six arms and he usually stands on Ganapati. In his blue form he holds a flaying knife and a skull cup in his main hands, a drum and a lasso in the lower ones, a rosary and a trident in the upper ones. The above also holds the front legs of an elephant whose hide is stretched across his back.

18th century, Mongolia, Garwa Nagpo, metal (gilt copper or copper alloy and pigments), private collection, photo on HAR.

Dorje Legpa’s attendant is seated sideways on a billy goat with twisted horns, stretching his arms horizontally to display a vajra-tipped hammer and a pair of bellows (now missing).

Mongolia, Palden Lhamo (2)

18th century, Mongolia, Palden Lhamo, bronze and pigments, private collection?, photo on Nandzed .

Complete with parasol, this one-head and two-arm form of Shri Devi Known as Magzor Gyalmo in Tibet rides a kiang across a sea of blood and floating limbs. She sits on the hide of her dead son, wielding a staff in her right hand and holding a skull cup in the other, before her heart. Her attendants are Makaravaktra, who leads her mount, and Simhavaktra, who follows behind.

17th or 18th century (or later?), Mongolia, Dolonnor, Shri Devi, gilt bronze, at the Khanenko Museum in Kiev (Ukraine).

On this example the attendants are positioned the other way round. We can see some of Shri Devi’s magic weapons: a bag of disease, a bundle of red curses, some dice, hanging from a snake tied around her kiang, a tally stick fastened to her belt.

18th century, Mongolia, Palden Lhamo, gilt copper alloy with polychromy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, 2002.

One of her distinctive signs is a sun disc on her navel, clearly visible here.

Mongolia, Chitipati

18th century, Mongolia, Chitipati, polychrome carved bone and wood, private collection, photo and full details on 1st dibs.

A rare bone sculpture of the Father-Mother couple known as Shri Shmana Adhipati or Chitipati. They hold the usual attributes, a skull-tipped staff and a skull cup for him, a sheaf of grain and a long-life vase for her. Often described as standing on a conch shell, the above website specifies that he stands on a conch shell and she stands on a cowrie shell (compare with a similar set from the Fondation Alain Bordier seen in a previous post).

Mongolia, various buddhas (13)

18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, bronze with traces of paint, private collection, photo on on Galerie Zacke .The double hair bun topped with a jewel, the shape of the celestial scarf, the silk dhoti loosely gathered around the legs and decorated with an embroidered border, the design of the jewellery, and the design of the lotus base are all recurrent features on a group of portable sculptures of male and female figures with a princely appearance made in the Dolon Nor region, Inner Mongolia, around the 18th century (or made in China following the same style, see Bonhams for example).

Undated (17th or 18th century?), Mongolia, buddha, (gilt metal), Zanabazar style, private collection, photo on HAR .

This buddha makes the fear-allaying gesture with his right hand and appears to hold a piece of his sanghati in the other. He is seated on a circular lotus base with overlapping five-lobe leaves separated at the top by beading, a design associated with Zanabazar and his followers.

18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources .

The historical buddha seated on a tall double-lotus base, wearing silk garments draped in the Chinese fashion, his rather elongated left hand held in the gesture of meditation, the other calling Earth to witness.

Undated, Mongolia, Amitabha, (gilt copper alloy), private collection, photo on HAR .

Amitabha, seated with both hands in the meditation gesture to hold a bowl.

Mongolia, Wrathful Vajrapani (3)

18th century, Inner Mongolia, Vajrapani (gilt copper repoussé with pigments?), photo and details on the National Palace Museum in Taiwan.

Yesterday the draft containing this image was published by mistake (sorry!).

This lively sculpture depicts an irate Vajrapani in his chanda form, identified by the gesture of his left hand, from which a lasso is missing. The vajra sceptre is missing from his right hand too. He is adorned with a half vajra sceptre in his flaming hair (tied with a snake), bone jewellery, snakes, a flowing scarf. There was probably a victim lying on a bed of snakes under his feet.

Mongolia, various characters (8)

17th century, Mongolia, guru, gilt bronze and silver, private collection, photo on Treasure Art .

Probably an important teacher, seated on an unusually large number of brocaded cushions covered with a blanket, atop a small plinth, this man dressed in full monastic garb and coiffed with a pandita hat holds a long-life vase in his left hand.

18th century, Mongolia, Dolonnor, lama, gilt copper alloy, pigments and silk, photo on Arthur M Sackler Gallery , Washington DC (USA).

Only two cushions for this deified teacher, who holds the stem of lotuses topped with a manuscript and the hilt of a sword (Manjushri’s attributes). The cushions are decorated with symbols and covered with a blanket plus a cloth embroidered with a visvajra symbol. His left hand is cupped in the gesture of meditation.

Early 18th century, Mongolia, Dolonnor, Lama, gilt copper alloy, photo on Arthur M Sackler Gallery .

An elderly man with his feet uncovered, seated on two brocaded cushions, one with a floral theme, the other with two animals and a large lotus at the front. He makes the gesture of debate with his right hand.

Mid 18th-early 19th century, Mongolia, Dolonnor, Lama, possibly the second Khalka Jestundampa, gilt copper alloy, photo on Arthur M Sackler Gallery .

18th century, Mongolia, Padmasambhava, brass with copper inlay, private collection, photo on Hanhai , lot 91.

Dressed in a layman’s outfit and a meditation cloak, Padmasambhava is seated in a relaxed manner on a singular lotus base, holding a (missing) skull cup in his left hand and a vajra sceptre over his right knee, his ritual staff (and his vulture finial) now lost. He wears a lotus hat decorated with a sun, moon, and dissolving point symbol, large earrings, a short necklace.

Mongolia, female entities (8)

18th century, Mongolia, Hemanta Rajni riding a camel, gilt bronze and pigments, private collection, photo and details on .

A rare sculpture of a female figure riding a camel, identified as Hemanta Rajni, Queen of Winter (who has a blue body on paintings and usually holds a hammer and a skull cup when she is part of Palden Lhamo’s retinue figure). She has a third eye, flaming hair going upwards, and is almost naked but for a human hide tied around her neck and worn on her back.

Circa 1800, Inner Mongolia, Palden Lhamo, parcel gilt copper, private collection, photo on Doyle .

This very rare composition depicts the two-arm form of Shri Devi/Palden Lhamo (known as Magzor Gyalmo in Tibet), identified by the sun-and-moon symbol in her hair, the corpse between her teeth, the sun disc on her navel, and the hide of her son on her back. Instead of riding a kiang and being accompanied by Simhavaktra and Makaravaktra, she is seated on an indeterminate object, with a male figure seated next to her and four busts placed in a row at the front (one of them with various heads). Her (missing) attributes are a vajra-tipped sandalwood staff or club (right hand), a skull cup filled with magic substances and held before her heart (left hand), a parasol or canopy made of peacock feathers (above her head).

18th century, Inner Mongolia, Dolonnor, Sitatapatra, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Bonhams, Hong Kong , lot 122.

Sitatapatra in her one-head and two-arm for, seated in a relaxed manner on a lotus base, her right hand holding a (missing) wheel, the other holding a (missing) parasol and making the gesture to bestow refuge (tip of ring finger on tip of thumb).

She is attended by a tiny wrathful female holding a sword in her right hand and a lasso in the other.