18th century, Mongolia, a bogd gegeen [spiritual leader], possibly Zanabazar, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.
Wrapped in fine Chinese silk garments with an incised hem and wearing the pointed cap traditionally worn by Sakya lamas, this hierarch holds a vajra
sceptre at heart level and a bell with a vajra
handle. He sits on a plinth decorated with a double floral border.
18th century, Mongolia, Tsong Khapa, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.
Portrayed as a deified lama, holding the stem of lotuses that support a book and a sword, Tsong Khapa has a bowl in his left hand and does the gesture of teaching/debate with the other.
Same as before, Yeshe Dorje, same as before.
Yeshe Dorje (Zanabazar, in this context) is seated on two embroidered cushions covered with a blanket. He holds the same attributes as the bogd gegeen above.
18th century, Mongolia, Yeshe Dorje, gilt metal, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.
We are told on the Himalayan Art Resources website that, according to common belief, Zanabazar instructed his students to depict him with a vajra and a bell when the image was to be seen by religious practitioners. The rich gilding, soft facial features and large overlapping lotus petals on the base are typical of works coming out of his workshop. Instead of beading (to signify stamens) the top of the base is decorated with a floral motif.
17th-18th century, Mongolia, Padmasambhava and consorts, gilt copper alloy and pigments, from the Sandor P. Fuss collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi.