Tibet, Ratnasambhava (3)

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, bronze with paint, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

Ratnasambhava, framed by lotuses, coiffed with a tall crown strengthened with rods, his right hand held out to display a small gem. His face, hands and feet are painted with cold gold, the hem of his dhoti, part of his jewellery, the heart of the lotuses are inlaid with copper; silver has been used for his necklaces and armlets. The upper part of the lotus base is decorated with a chased geometrical motif between two rows of beading. (You can see the details by enlarging the image on HAR 31431).

14th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, bronze with silver (and copper) inlay, private collection, photo on Mokotoff

Undated, Tibet?, Ratnasambhava (labelled ‘Shakyamuni’), copper alloy, private collection, photo by Madison Square Gallery

17th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Bruun Rasmussen.

14th-15th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Ratnasambhava in his buddha appearance, a vajra sceptre placed before him on the lotus base. One end of his inner and outer garments, both with a beaded hem, drops vertically at the front rather than going across his left arm.

Bonhams explain that the small tang at the back was for the sculpture to be fastened to a stupa (as in the Densatil monastery for instance).

 

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Tibet, Ratnasambhava (2)

Circa 12th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams

Strikingly similar to a 10th-11th century crowned Shakyamuni at the Ashmolean museum published some time ago (see below), this Pala style buddha wears a tall crown with long ribbons that curl up above the shoulders, a short necklace and earrings but not armbands, bracelets or anklets. The singular position of his right hand identifies him as Ratnasambhava rather than the historical buddha.

13th c., Tibet, Ratnasambhava, c.a.+sil.cop.+stones+pig., 30 cm, lab. Buddha, auction 118 UK, Cambiaste

13th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy with silver, copper and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Casa Cambi d’Aste.

Ratnasambhava normally holds his right hand open, in the gesture of supreme generosity and displays a gem (ratna). The above has silver-inlaid eyes, copper-inlaid lips and crown components, a tall Pala-style chignon dyed with lapis lazuli powder and topped with a spectacular flaming jewel finial, no urna. His long dhoti is decorated with a chased lotus pattern.

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Koller.

The blue lotuses on each side of the figure help date this work. Like the previous buddha, he wears a particularly tall foliate crown and matching finial, perhaps to remind us that he belongs to higher spheres.

14th c., Tibet, Ratnasambhava, brass, at Ngor mon., Huntington Archive

14th century, Tibet, Ngor monastery, Ratnasambhava, brass, photo from the Huntington Archive.

An Indo-tibetan figure with a large gem embossed in the palm of his right hand.

He wears a thin sash tightly drawn across his chest, decorated with an incised and stippled rice grain pattern.

16th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Lempertz

This one also has a gem embossed in the palm of his hand. His shoulders are covered with a small Chinese-style silk garment often described as a cape but made in one piece shaped like a cloud.

17th-18th c., Tibet, Ratnasambhava, bronze+paint, 20 cm, Hermitage

17th-18th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, bronze (brass) with paint, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

Seated on a throne supported by two lions and a yaksha, the back plate decorated on each side with an elephant, a lion, a young boy mounting a sharabha, a lotus bud, a makara, a naga king, and topped with a garuda.

15th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction

Ratnasambhava in his buddha appearance, seated on a lotus base with an incised rim, a gem incised in the palm of his hand.

Tibet, Ratnasambhava – buddha appearance

14th-15th c., Tibet, Ratnasambhava, gilt bronze, 28,6 cm, vajra on base, Sotheby's

14th-15th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

Ratnasambhava is seated on a lotus base with a vajra (usually associated with Akshobhya) in front of him, his right hand held out in the gesture of generosity and displaying a gem (ratna).

His sanghati has a wide border decorated with an incised motif and one end of the garment is neatly pleated over the shoulder.

16th century, Tibet, a buddha (Ratnsambhava), gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Koller.

A similar iconography (gem in hand, vajra sceptre in front of him) but a different style, with a singular  way of draping the sanghati at the front.

Tibet, Ratnasambhava – bodhisattva appearance (3)

15th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, bronze (copper alloy) with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by christie’s.

Tibetan metal sculptures of Ratnasambhava are relatively few and usually depict him in his bodhisattva appearance.

This rare example depicts him with silver-inlaid eyes and copper-inlaid lips and crown, his hair dyed blue and topped with a large flaming jewel finial.

He is adorned with princely jewellery with a floral design and wears a long garment with a finely incised floral motif.

Undated (14th-15th century?), Tibet, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy with cold gold, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi (India).

Ratnasambhava holds his right hand in the gesture of supreme generosity.

18th century (dated 16th century by W. Zwalf), Tibet, Ratnasambhava, brass with turquoise inlay, at the British Museum in London (UK).

The left hand does the gesture of meditation.

Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava (4)

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel auctions.

A highly original sculpture of Ratnasambhava with a conical chignon and a small crown made of small leaves set wide apart, adorned with unusual jewellery and seated on a double-lotus base with flat squarish petals, his right hand held out in the gesture of supreme generosity and displaying an incised diamond with a gem (ratna) at the centre.

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The rim of his crown and his necklaces consist in thick beading. The shorter necklace with three foliate pendants, including one decorated with incisions, is reminiscent of earlier works attributed to the Ngari district.

14th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

14th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

14th-c-western-tibet-ratnasambhava-c-a-38-cm-triratna-in-palm-har

This one displays a a triple gem (triratna ) inside a circle in the palm of his right hand.

Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava – standing

12th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

12th century, Western Tibet, Ratnasambhava, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This is a rare sculpture of Ratnasambhava standing.

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He is on a double-lotus base over a plinth decorated with horses and flaming jewels.

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He wears beaded jewellery and a matching sacred thread and festooned belt, his dhoti and scarf are decorated with incisions. He has a Kashmiri style torso with developed pectorals and a cruciform navel.

12th-c-western-tibet-ratnasambhava-bronze-28-cm-horse-pedestal-close-up-naftalis-col

The geometrical incisions on his scarf, crown, bows and earrings are typical of West Tibetan works produced around the 11th and 12th century in the Ngari district.

Tibet, Ratnasambhava, bodhisattva appearance (2)

13th-14th century, Tibet, labelled Sino-Tibetan, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy with copper inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Sino-Tibetan, Ratnasambhava, copper alloy with copper inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

His right hand held out in the gesture of supreme generosity, the other in the meditation gesture, Ratnasambhava wears a very large flaming jewel (ratna) finial on top of his chignon. His lips and one of his necklaces are inlaid with copper. The overall result corresponds to the Tibetan taste of the time, yet, on closer inspection, the tear-shaped armbands are not related to Tibet and the crown made of three large leaves and two small leaves corresponds to the Chinese style. Also, the middle necklace would normally have at least one pendant, and the tail end of his dhoti would be gathered under his ankles.

14th century, Tibet, copper alloy?, at the Beijing Museum

14th century, Tibet, (copper alloy?), at the Tibetan Museum in Beijing (China).

This is a more standard image, with large hoops and foliate jewellery and a smaller flaming jewel finial. The panels of his tall five-leaf crown are secured with rods.

Same as before, traces of cold gold, private collection, photo by Nagel auctions.

Same as before, traces of cold gold, private collection, photo by Nagel auctions.

Here the artist has made a modest use of turquoise cabochons on the crown and one of the necklaces.

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The rim of the crown is decorated with an incised motif.

14th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, brass, private collection, photo by Christie's.

14th century, Tibet, Ratnasambhava, brass, private collection, photo by Christie’s.