Mongolia, various buddhas (6)

Undated (17th-18th century?), Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (with cold gold and pigments), private collection, photo by Max Marco Brothers on Max Marco .

The buddha is seated on a Zanabazar-style lotus base, with an alms bowl in his hands. The hem of his robe is decorated with a chased floral pattern, one extremity of the garment is pleated along the border across his chest and on the other side, along his arm, forming a particularly long swallow tail shape, a feature we have seen a couple of times before on Zanabazar style works dated 17th to 18th century.

Undated, Mongolia, Bhaisajyaguru (labelled ‘Shakyamuni’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Max Marco Brothers, as before.

Undated (18th century?), Mongolia, medicine buddha, gilt metal, private collection, photo on  HAR.

Probably 18th century, Mongolia, Bhaisajyaguru (labelled ‘Buddha’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Doyle Auctions on Doyle.

Seated with his legs locked, the main medicine buddha holds an arura fruit  in his right hand and a bowl in the other.

Undated (17th or 18th century), Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Holly Auctions on HAR .

18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt metal, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 7866.

Amitabha holds a large alms bowl in both hands.

18th century, Mongolia, Akshobhya (labelled ‘Shakyamuni’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 101 China 1.

Akshobhya,  calling Earth to witness with his right hand and holding an upright vajra sceptre in his left hand.

Unlabelled (Mongolia, Vairocana?, gilt copper alloy), private collection, photo on HAR

Undated (circa 18th century), Mongolia, Vajradhara, gilt bronze, Zanabazar style, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s – Australia.

Vajradhara, adorned with princely accessories, holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his hands crossed over his heart. The way his celestial scarf falls over the sides of the seat is an unusual feature that we saw on a few sculptures dated late 17th and 18th century.

18th c., Mongolia, Shakyamuni crowned?, gilt bronze+rep. crown, 35 cm, prob. Dolonnor, Qahar region, lab. buddha, cloud cape, AU0826 Australia Sotheby's

18th century, Mongolia, probably Dolonnor, Buddha, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s as before.

Inner Mongolia sculptures are very different from the previous Zanabazar school works. The lotus base is different and the accessories are made of gilt copper repoussé.

His monkish garb, complemented by a delicate cloud-shaped cape, and his short hair curls distinguish identify him as the historical buddha in his crowned aspect, adorned with a copper repoussé crown and a necklace (no armbands, bracelets and anklets).

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Mongolia, various buddhas (5)

17th century, (Mongolia), buddha, gilt bronze, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo on https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

This buddha, probably Shakyamuni, is seated on a tall lotus base typical of the Zanabazar school, his right hand doing the teaching gesture, the other held in meditation.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt bronze, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

Amitabha holds a begging bowl in both hands over his lap.

18th century, Mongolia, Vairocana, gilt bronze, private collection, item 24092 on Himalayan Art Resources.

18th century, Mongolia, Vairocana, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller

Apart from a gesture specific to him, Vairocana may be ‘turning the wheel of the law’ with his hands. The above has cold gold on his face, painted facial features and blue pigment on his hair.

The broad hem of his garment is decorated with a stippled lotus motif.

17th century, Mongolia, Bhaisajyaguru, gilt bronze, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo by Polyauction

The medicine buddha is easily identified by the arura fruit in his right hand and the medicine jar or bowl in his left hand, both kept in place by several raised fingers.

18th c., Mongolia, Ratnasambhava, 10,5 cm, lab. Bhaisahyaguru or R., Astamangala

18th century, Mongolia, Ratnasambhava or Bhaisajyaguru, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Astamangala

17th century, Mongolia, Vajradhara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo by Polyauction as before.

 

Mongolia, Amitayus/Amitabha (6)

17th century, (Mongolia), Amitayus, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo  on Polyauction 

Particularly popular in Mongolia, Amitayus, long-life deity and aspect of Amitabha with a bodhisattva appearance, holds a long-life vase with both hands. He is seated on a tall double lotus base associated with Zanabazar and his school.

17th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze (copper alloy), school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo on Polyauction 

As we have seen in previous posts, Zanabazar himself adorned his figures with very detailed and delicate accessories. His followers simplified greatly the design of the jewellery and crown. The lower part of the lotus base is often decorated with a chased lotus pattern.

17th century, Mongolia, Amitayus (labelled ‘bodhisattva’) gilt bronze (copper alloy), school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo by Christie’s 

Undated (circa 17th century), Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, pigments, private collection, photo on HAR 

Undated (17th century?), Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, item 32279 on Himalayan Art Resources .

18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt copper alloy, private collection, item 12979 on Himalayan Art Resources.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com.

This Chinese-style Amitayus wears a floral necklace and has a tall lotus and jewel finial on his three-tier hair bun. Some long strands of hair are split from the rest and form a curl over his arms. There is no urna on his forehead.

18th c., Mongolia, Dolonnor, Amitayus, cop. rep.+glass, 53 cm, Paris sothebys

18th century, Mongolia, Dolonnor, Amitayus, (parcel-gilt) copper repoussé with glass inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s

The Dolonnor area is famous for its copper repoussé works. The above wears ornate accessories painted with cold gold and inlaid with glass cabochons, some possibly at a later date.

18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt copper alloy, school of Zanabazar, private collection, photo by Bonhams https://www.bonhams.com.

Undated, Mongolia, Amitabha or Shakyamuni, gilt metal, private collection, item 32272 on Himalayan Art Resources.

Mongolia, Shakyamuni (4)

17th century, (Mongolia), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

17th century, (Mongolia), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction as before.

On these two images the historical buddha is seated on a tall lotus base typical of the Zanabazar school, holding a begging bowl in his left hand and ‘calling Earth to witness’ with the other. His robe is decorated with a broad incised border, and a piece of the garment is folded elegantly in a swallow tail shape over his left shoulder while an extremity of the cloth forms an elegant triangular shape on the other side.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, parcel-gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Cambiaste

Parcel-gilt Mongolian works are rare. In this instance, the gilding has been applied to the garments of the buddha and the lotus base while the hair and facial features have been painted with pigments.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s

A variant, with both hands supporting the bowl (only the wheels on the sole of his feet distinguish him from Amitabha).

17th century, (Mongolia), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction.

The artist who created this work was inspired by the style of Zanabazar but the end result is quite different, especially the lotus base and the body proportions.

Early 18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), photo on Galerie Hioco

Late 18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

17th century, (Mongolia), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze and blue pigment, private collection, photo by Polyauction as below.

Another lotus base typical of Mongolian art, consisting in a single large lotus flower, with stamens.

18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha or Shakyamuni (labelled ‘buddha’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Polyauction

A variant, with a thinner and taller plinth, scallop-shaped petals overlapping each other, the upper ones interleaved with semi-circular beading, tall stamens.

18th century Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt copper repoussé with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s

The face of this buddha shows traces of cold gold applied to the head that has not been fire-gilt, a common practice in Mongolia.

18th century Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Mongolia, various buddhas (4)

18th century, Mongolia, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), attributed to Zanabazar, at the Choijin temple in Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia), photo by Daniel Waugh, on http://www.depts.washington.edu.

Draped in Chinese silk garments, the historical buddha is seated on a lotus throne with an intricate Nepalese-style back panel including mythical creatures and a garuda at the top. He holds a begging bowl in his left hand and calls Earth to witness his enlightenment with the other.

18th century, Mongolia, Akshobhya, gilt bronze (copper alloy), Zanabazar school, at the Choijin temple in Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia), photo by Daniel Waugh, on http://www.depts.washington.edu.

Akshobhya in his bodhisattva appearance, identified by the upright vajra sceptre in his left hand, his face painted with pigments, is adorned with accessories inlaid with turquoise and clear gems. He wears a thin scarf and a tight-fitting lower garment with the tail end arranged in a scallop shape over the lotus base.

18th-19th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Florence Number Nine.

Amitayus holds his hands in the meditation gesture to support a (missing) long-life vase. His two-tier hair bun is topped with a lotus and flaming jewel finial, the long scarf or shawl goes over the front of the lotus seat supported by a tall conical base with a plain rim and three tiers incised with scrolling vegetation and a geometrical design similar to the symbol used to represent vermilion in Buddhist art.

 

 

 

Mongolia, various buddhas (3)

18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Adorned with princely accessories, Amitayus is seated on a lotus base typical of the Zanabazar school,  holding a long-life vase in both hands.

There is a small effigy of Amitabha in his headdress and a flaming pearl on his chignon.

Undated, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt metal, at a temple in Ulaan Baatar (Mongolia) photo by the Tibetan Mongolian Museum Society.

Although this work is probably far more recent, the quality of the craftsmanship and the design of the crown, flaming jewel finial and delicate necklace on this statue recalls a group of 17th century sculptures at the Zanabazar Museum (published in a previous post).

18th century, Mongolia, Dolonnor, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy cast and repoussé, turquoise, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Dolonnor statues are very different from the Zanabazar style as they were made with the repoussé technique and often included detachable elements.

This buddha displays Chinese-style the draping below the breast and a cloud-shaped breast plate, complemented by a tear-shaped turquoise cabochon.

18th century, Mongolia, Vajradhara, silver with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

Vajradhara holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his hands crossed over his heart, his crown placed high up on his head, all the accessories inlaid with large turquoise cabochons (The lotus base is likely to be earlier and of Nepalese or Tibetan origin).

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Vajradhara and consort, gilt copper alloy, Zanabazar school, private collection, photo credits unknown.

Mongolia, Amitayus-Amitabha (5)

17th c. late, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze, 68,5 cm, 7861 har, Cambiaste

Late 17th century, Mongolia, Amitayus, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Cambiaste.

This remarkable sculpture, possibly made by Zanabazar himself and complete with flaming mandorla,  depicts Amitayus standing on a lotus base with upward-going overlapping scallop-shaped petals typical of Zanabazar’s style and period along with a few other lotus base designs not seen outside Mongolia. Dressed in full bodhisattva attire, his garments decorated with an incised border, he holds a large pot with a lid instead of his usual long-life vase, a feature we saw on another 17th-18th century standing Amitayus from Mongolia.

The facial features and the style of the jewellery are fairly similar to those of a seated Amitayus seen in a recent post and presently at the Zanabazar Museum in Mongolia.

18th century, Mongolia, Amitayus (labelled Amitabha), gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Drouot.

Although the attribute is missing, it is generally accepted that, in sculpture, the buddha who holds both hands in the meditation gesture and wears bodhisattva attire is Amitayus. The slanted eyes, thick eyebrows and pursed lips on the above figure are not typical of the area and may indicate that the work was done for a Chinese patron.

17th-18th century, Mongolia, Amitabha, gilt bronze (copper alloy), Zanabazar school, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The buddha with a buddha appearance and both hands in the meditation gesture is generally understood to be Amitabha, who holds a begging bowl.