Labelled 15th-18th century, (late Malla period), Nepal, Amitabha, at the Mahabuddha temple in Patan, photo from the Huntington Archive.
The red body and the begging bowl in his cupped hands identify this buddha as Amitabha.
16th century, Nepal, Amitabha, gilt copper, at the Khadgayogini temple in Sanku (Nepal), photo from the Huntington Archive.
The begging bowl in the cupped hands and the peacock throne correspond to Amitabha, who is sometimes depicted with a bodhisattva appearance but he normally has one head and two hands – here we have twelve. The main ones do the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture, the pair below hold the bowl. The remaining left hands hold a branch of the ashoka tree, a vajra-handled bell, a bow, a noose; the remaining right hands hold a sword, a vajra sceptre, and a non-identified object; the lower hand displays the gesture of generosity. There is an archaic form of Manjushri with 3 heads and 6 hands who holds a sword, a bow, an arrow, a vajra sceptre, a bell, a book, a noose and an elephant goad, or with two of the hands turning the wheel of dharma instead of holding these last two implements. We may be looking at one of those rare works that blend several deities together.
16th century, Nepal, Akshobhya, copper alloy with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Cornette de St Cyr.
The iconography is the same as for Shakyamuni calling Earth to witness, a minute vajra sceptre is placed near the beaded rim of the lotus base.
16th century, Nepal?, Akshobhya, gilt copper, at the British Museum in London (UK).
Crowned buddhas usually represent the historical buddha but in the absence of dharma wheels on the sole of their feet they are understood to represent Akshobhya.
15th-16th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Arthur Millner.
Vajradhara, with one head topped with a vajra finial and two hands, holds a vajra sceptre and a bell in his hands crossed over his heart.
17th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.
In his three-head and six-hand form, the upper hands hold a sword and a noose (missing here), the remaining hands would normally hold a hook and a skull cup but the position of either hands corresponds to a thinner attribute held between two fingers. A singular beaked flower or jewel shows at the extremities of his sash and the folds of his dhoti.
18th century, Nepal, Amitayus, copper, private collection, photo by Prajna Gallery.
We have seen a variety of similar statues of Amitayus in the Tibetan section of this blog, seated on a cushion and adorned with the same type of hair ornament and floral jewellery, a broad sash across his chest.
18th century, Nepal, Amitayus, hollow cast gilt copper, private collection, photo by Bonhams.
Chinese-style sculptures made in Nepal during the late Malla period usually include a shawl which forms a sharp loop at elbow level and a supple silk garment which covers the legs and part of the lotus base.
17th century, Nepal, Buddha, gilt bronze (copper alloy) and pigments, at the British Museum in London (UK).