Tibet, Vajradhara – alone (17)

15th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, bronze (copper alloy), private collection?, photo on Artkhade

15th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt bronze with turquoise inlay, private collection?, photo on Artkhade as above.

Seated in the vajra position, dressed in princely attire, Vajradhara holds a vajra sceptre and a vajra bell in his hands crossed over his heart.

Late 15th century, Western Tibet, Guge, Vajradhara, brass with traces of gilding, private collection, photo on Jstor (after Jin Tong Fo Xian).

15th-16th century, Western Tibet, Guge, Vajradhara, brass, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, 1992.

Late Guge-style figures often have an oval face with thin facial features, a large raised urna and a sharp nose, a Kashmiri-style cruciform navel, a long and ample lower garment and a silk shawl draped in the Chinese fashion, a crown with the leaves set wide apart.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt

16th century, Tibet, Vajradhara, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.Alternatively he may have lotuses on each side of him to support his attributes. This Chinese-style figure has the flowers fastened to his elbows.

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Tibet, Amitabha (4)

14th-15th century, Tibet, Amitabha, gilt bronze with pigments, private collection, photo by Polyauction.

Amitabha sits in the vajra position, his hands cupped to hold a bowl.

15th century, Tibet, Amitabha, copper fusion (alloy) with traces of polychromy, private collection, photo by Florence Number Nine, 2013.

An example with painted facial features.

15th century, Tibet, Amitabha, gilt bronze, at the National Gallery in Prague (Czech Republic).

Occasionally he holds a long-life vase (not necessarily the original attribute) normally associated with his other aspect, Amitayus, who has a princely appearance.

16th century, Tibet, Amitabha, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel.

Tibet, crowned buddha (5)

9th century (or later?), Kashmir (Kashmir school in Western Tibet?), Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on  Hardt .

A rare sculpture of a standing crowned buddha, almost identical to a 12th century sculpture from Western Tibet, published by Christie’s and seen in a previous post. He stands on a Kashmiri-style stepped pedestal decorated with a singular row of lotus petals and an incised motif at the front. Other features that differ from Kashmiri standards are the large wide-open eyes, the shape of the rosettes on each side of the crown and the hem, with large beading and jewel pendants instead of tassels, on the three-pointed neckline of his garment.

Tibet, Shakyamuni – variants (3)

15th century (or earlier?), Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo on Hardt

The historical buddha dressed in a transparent robe that reveals the waist of his undergarment, his lips and the border of his robe inlaid with copper, his eyes and urna inlaid with silver, seated on a tall lotus base with plump petals, all of which we have often seen on early (13th-14th century) works from Tibet. We have only seen a few early buddhas seated on a beaded cushion as above, most of them dated 13th century.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with silver inlay, private collection, photo on Nagel .

One of a group of buddhas seated on a double-lotus base with elongated petals with a sharply pointed end, displaying the same type of facial features and hairstyle, the undergarment tightly pleated under the breast, the sanghati decorated with an incised border, a small vajra sceptre placed on top of the seat.

15th century, Western Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (USA).This rare image depicts the historical buddha with a jewelled finial (and no hair bun or chignon), wearing a diaphanous robe with part of the cloth falling vertically on the left side.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gitl bronze with cold gold and pigment, private collection, photo by Nagel.

A plain robe with an incised hem and a section of the cloth arranged in two scallop-shaped layers over his left shoulder.

15th century, Western Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (brass), with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

A copper-inlaid hem and a classic ‘swallow tail’ draping over the left shoulder.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by 25 Blythe Road.

A sanghati with a multitude of soft pleats across the chest and left arm.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Marie-Catherine Daffos for aaoarts 

The classic patched robe with beaded seams.

17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction.

With a very loosely draped robe, disproportionate arms and torso, an elongated neck and face, all of which help date the piece.

18th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper repoussé, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 104 China 2.

Dressed in silk clothing draped in the Chinese fashion.

Tibet, crowned Shakyamuni – seated (7)

Undated, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Ravenel.

The historical buddha wearing a five-leaf crown tied with long ribbons and decorated with large rosettes, no earrings or necklace,  dressed in a sanghati with an incised hem, his right hand calling Earth to witness, the other cupped in the gesture of meditation.

Undated, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi, photo on Himalayan Art Resources, item 71797.

A similar depiction, with a small vajra sceptre before him half embedded in the lotus base.

Mid 15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze with turquoise and lapis lazuli, at the Toledo Museum in Ohio (USA).

On quite a few of these broad-shouldered Nepalese-style sculptures produced during the 14th and 15th century approximatley, the buddha has a tear-shaped urna on his forehead and wears a minimal tiara, consisting in a head band, plain or with a chased pattern, side rosettes and a central decoration or several stone cabochons.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Amitabha’), bronze, private collection, photo by Henry’s Auktionshaus.

The historical buddha, crowned and holding a begging bowl in both hands.

Tibet, Akshobhya (3)

11th-12th century, Tibet, Askhobhya, bronze (copper alloy) with traces of gold, private collection, photo on Nagel

A rare and early sculpture of Akshobhya in his bodhisattva appearance, seated on a lotus supported by an elephant throne, his hair tied in a Swat-Valley style fan-shaped bunch, adorned with simple jewellery and a tiara with a single ornament at the front. His right hand calls Earth to witness, the other is in the meditation gesture and would have held an upright vajra now missing.

13th-14th century, Tibet or Ladakh, Akshobya (labelled ‘Vajrapani’), bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Eleanor Abraham

Complete with vajra sceptre in hand, coiffed with a tall crown with a kirtimukha design at the centre, his chignon topped with a half vajra finial.

Circa 15th century, Western Tibet, Akshobhya (labelled ‘crowned Buddha’), copper alloy with meal and stone inlay, cold gold, private collection, photo by Koller.

A singular example wearing a long dhoti richly incised and inlaid with copper, a matching omega-shape celestial scarf forming an arch around him, adorned with a five-leaf crown, large hoops,  bulky bracelets, armlets, anklets and necklaces, all inlaid with medium to large cabochons.

Circa 15th-16th century, Tibet, Akshobhya (labelled ‘Buddha’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by F. Gousset for aaoarts

A curious image of Akshobhya without necklaces, bracelets, anklets or a belt, only a crown, earrings and armlets. The sash across his chest is knotted over the left shoulder. He probably held an upright vajra sceptre in his cupped hand.

17th century, Tibet, Askhbhya, copper alloy (labelled ‘wood’), private collection, photo on Artkhade

In his buddha appearance, seated on a brocaded cushion, atop a throne supported by two lions, two elephants and two kneeling figures.

Tibet, Shakyamuni – seated (22)

12th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection?, photo on Artkhade

This Indo-Tibetan masterpiece depicts the historical buddha with a very large lotus bud finial on his chignon, his right hand calling Earth to witness his enlightenment. There is no cloth folded over his left shoulder but we can see that a piece of the garment rests across his left arm, a common feature in Tibet.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Akshobhya’), copper alloy, with copper inlay and pigments, photo by VAN HAM.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy with copper-inlaid seam, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A187AS.

Two buddhas with a large raised urna above their unibrow and a sanghati with a copper-inlaid hem decorated with an incised geometrical pattern, a recurrent feature in 13th and 14th century Tibet, usually featuring a rice grain or a lotus motif.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 105 China 1.

A simpler way of decorating the hem, without the copper inlay. Note the ‘swallow tail’ over the left shoulder, the delicate hands and the oblong urna at the centre of the unibrow. We can see a raised wheel of dharma on the sole of his right foot.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 104 China 2.

Two noteworthy features here are the way the cloth drops almost vertically across the left arm and the short and broad ‘swallow tail’ arranged over the shoulder and down the arm.

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Drouot.

A sanghati with a wavy pattern on the hem.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with copper and turquoise inlay, at the MAAS in Sydney (Australia).

Shakyamuni wearing a patched robe with beaded seams, a floral pattern engraved on each patch, the border decorated with a geometrical motif, seated on a rare lotus base with an incised two-tier plinth.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by F. Gousset for aaoarts.

With two layers of clothing clearly visible and thick pleating over his left shoulder.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Koller.

17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Mossgreen.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigment, private collection, photo by Koller, sale A189AS.