Nepal, Shakyamuni (2)

10th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

Probably made for a portable shrine, this small figure (6,5 cm tall) wears a necklace with a large pendant inlaid with a ruby (or similar gemstone). He is otherwise portrayed like most standing buddhas produced during the early Transitional Period, i.e. dressed in a transparent garment that covers both shoulders and holding a piece of the robe in his left hand while his right hand does the gesture of generosity. There is no lotus bud finial on his hair bun.

9th-10th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, bronze with cold gold, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 17719 lot 229, Paris.

Seated examples from the same period usually wear a transparent garment with no decoration on the (barely visible) hem and no folds over the left shoulder. This buddha’s hands are in the gesture of meditation, his conical chignon is topped with a lotus bud.

10th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, black stone, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 5533 lot 252, Paris.

A different style, with broad shoulders and long legs, his robe almost invisible but for the folds over his left shoulder, his hair rendered with rows of large snail-like curls and a smooth bun topped with a lotus bud.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper with cold gold and pigment, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

During the Malla period the hem is more sinuous across the chest and more visible as it is often decorated. Sometimes with beading…

14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, bronze with cold gold, private collection, photo by Lempertz, sale 1146 lot 312.

14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, silver with turquoise, private collection, photo by Poly Auction, sale HKF3316 lot 3093.

… often with a chased rice grain pattern between two rows of beading. The under layer may have a plain edge.

14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Akshobhya’), gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Bonhams, 25th June 2019 lot 172, San Francisco.

Occasionally the border has no incised motif or beading.

Nepal, various buddhas (3)

12th century, Nepal, Vairocana, copper with traces of cold gold, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

Vairocana is seated on brocaded cushion atop a throne supported by lions, his hands in the gesture of enlightenment specific to him, adorned with a tripartite foliate crown with rosettes and ribbons, large floral earrings, a short necklace, large armbands, plain bracelets and a beaded belt. He wears a sash across his chest and a long dhoti with a patterned border.

13th century, Nepal, Vairocana, gilt copper with stone inlay, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier as before, at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

The same entity seated on a three-legged tool, a design proper to Nepal, adorned with a Malla-style crown, and shin adornments that match his armbands, but only one necklace and no sash or scarf.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Vajrasattva, gilt bronze with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Ethereal .

Vajrasattva in his two-hand form, seated in the vajra position, holding an upright vajra sceptre in his right hand and an upturned vajra bell in the other.

15th century, Nepal, Vajrasattva, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Ethereal .  

A variant, with the bell held horizontally.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 9822 lot 154, London.

The addi buddha usually holds a vajra sceptre and a vajra bell in his hands crossed over his heart. The above has a half-vajra finial on his chignon.

17th-18th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 14259, Paris.

When not in his hands, his attributes are supported by lotuses placed by his side on the lotus base (missing here).

Circa 16th-17th century, Nepal, labelled ‘Vajradhara and Prajnaparamita’, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 4.

Vajradhara in embrace with Bhagavani, who holds the same attributes. On this example she sits with only one leg around his waist.

17th century, Nepal, Akshobhya, gilt metal, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai, India, photo Photo Dharma .

Akshobhya is seated on a cushion atop a stepped throne with elephants and a wheel of dharma at the front. The arch behind him is decorated with viyalas, makaras, nagarajas, a garuda, and a parasol at the apex. An upright vajra sceptre is missing from his left hand (unless this is the historical buddha).

17th-18th century, Nepal, Ratnasambhava, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 17598 lot 371.

A Chinese-style Ratnasambhava with a lock of hair on his forehead, displaying a jewel incised in the palm of his right hand. His loosely draped silk garment covers both shoulders and most of the (missing) lotus base.

Nepal, standing buddhas (3)

7th-8th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, schist, Gupta style, private collection.

A rare sculpture of the historical buddha with exaggeratedly long arms and large hands, his head slightly off-centre. He holds a piece of his garment in his left hand while blessing the devotee who is kneeling at his feet and making an offering. His round-neck garment covering both arms is typical of the Licchavi period.

Circa 11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, is or was at Shalu monastery, published by Ulrich von Schroeder in 108 Buddhist Statues in Tibet, p. 93.

Nepal, seated buddhas (3)

11th century, Nepal, Amitayus, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Amitayus is seated on a brocaded cushion atop a lion throne decorated with brass-inlaid half moons. He is adorned with a tripartite foliate crown with wavy ribbons, large floral earrings and matching armlets, a sash decorated with incisions and tightly pulled across his thin waist, a necklace with three claw-like pendants (associated with Manjushri but not exclusive to him), and a calf-length dhoti with a chased geometrical pattern, all very similar to a 10th-11th century Nepalese Amitayus seen previously.

14th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo on AJ Speelman .Malla-period metal sculptures are normally gilt and the accessories are decorated with stone cabochons.  On early works a multitude of tiny gems was used to decorate crowns, belts, jewellery, and even the extremities of scarves and the folds of the dhoti that fan out over the base.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt bronze with turquoise inlay, private collection , photo Rémy Lefur et Associés.

On this late-Malla statue fewer and larger stones have been used, the buddha’s hair and his vase of longevity are topped with a lotus supporting a round jewel.

Circa 7th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, copper with gilding, private collection, photo by Ulrich von Schroeder in an article by David Weldon on  jstor 

A rare Licchavi image of the historical buddha with a small almond-shaped halo decorated with a row of flames curling inward, a row of beading and a star-shaped central structure. The seam of his transparent robe is barely visible across his chest.

13th century, Nepal, Gautama, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

During the Malla period the cloth gathered under the buddha’s ankles is often carefully pleated in a scallop shape. The low hairline going straight across the forehead and the small conical chignon are typical of the place and period. His outer garment covers the left arm completely and a tiny piece is folded like a fishtail over his left shoulder.

13th-14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Circa 1600, Nepal, Shakyamuni, painted clay, Patan (Nepal), photo by Ulrich von Schroeder in Nepalese Stone Sculptures, Volume 2.

17th century, Nepal, Vajrasattva, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum in Mumbai (India), photo on Photodharma

Vajrasattva is one of the few buddhas who may be seated with a leg pendent. When he holds the vajra sceptre (missing here) upright in his right hand the vajra bell in his left hand is usually upside-down, as above. His five-leaf crown symbolises the five wisdom buddhas, the half-vajra finial indicates enlightenment.

Nepal, standing buddhas (2)

7th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, bronze, at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena (USA).

7th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, bronze, at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena (USA).

Two Gupta-style buddhas wearing a diaphanous robe that covers both shoulders, the right hand held palm out to signify supreme generosity, the other holding a piece of the garment at waist level.

7th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, bronze, at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena (USA).

Complete with lotus pedestal and flaming halo, his left hand at shoulder level.

8th-9th century, Nepal, Buddha as a child, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Carter’s

the infant buddha is a recurrent them in ancient Chinese sculpture but rare in the Himalayas.

Nepal, Shakyamuni – various styles (3)

13th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, polychrome wood, private collection, photo on AJ Speelman .

An early Malla sculpture of the historical buddha, with a tall slender torso, a straight hairline, his thick curls of hair piled in a chignon shaped like a truncated cone topped with a finial, a piece of his robe fanning out over the left shoulder, traces of green and orange pigment visible on his garment.

Circa 1300, Nepal, Shakyamuni, polychrome wood, private collection, photo on AJ Speelman .

A rare wooden sculpture of Shakyamuni standing and holding a scallop-shaped piece of his patched robe against his left shoulder, his right hand extended to express supreme generosity. Each square on his sanghati is decorated with a (lotus?) pattern made of 5 dots.

15th century, Nepal (labelled ‘Tibet’ by Nagel and on HAR), Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams

An unusual gilt image of the buddha with broad shoulders and tapered fingers, his incised unibrow topped with a small urna, the facial features and hair painted with pigments (black hair was customary in the Kathmandu valley), one border of his sanghati decorated with a floral motif, the other decorated with a geometrical pattern, the piece of cloth over his left shoulder folded in three.

15th-16th century, Nepal or Tibet? (labelled India or Tibet), Shakyamuni, copper, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (USA).

The use of plain copper suggests that this crowned buddha was made in Nepal, although he may have been worshipped elsewhere. The facial features, conical chignon and broad shoulders are typical of the Malla period.

 

Nepal, various buddhas (2)

9th-10th c., Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, 14,6 cm, maas 497615

9th-10th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney (Australia).

12th-13th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s sale N10033.

10th-11th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, metal with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

Circa 14th century, Nepal, Maitreya, gilt copper, private collection, photo on Bonhams.

A rare image of Maitreya (or Shakyamuni?) in a crowned buddha appearance, seated on a lotus with both legs pendent, doing the dharma teaching gesture with his hands.

16th century, Nepal, Vajradhara, bronze with gilding and stones, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 104 China 2.

Vajradhara, with a vajra sceptre and a bell in his hands crossed before his heart.

16th century, Nepal, Vajrasattva, gilt bronze with stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 16245.

Vajrasattva, with the vajra sceptre upright in his right hand and the bell upside-down near his left hip.

16th-17th century, Nepal, Amitayus, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 17347, (labelled ‘China’ on HAR).

A rare image of Amitayus with red pigment in his hair, large floral earrings and a matching ornament in his headdress, holding a ritual water pot with a spout rather than a long-life vase, wearing a sash across his chest, a loosely wrapped lower garment and a Chinese-style scarf with serpentine ends.

17th century, Nepal, buddhas, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s sale 16245.

According to the hand gestures, the character with the seven-naga hood may be the Indian adept Nagarjuna and the other figures could be Akshobhya, Amitabha and Ratnasambhava.