Tibet, crowned buddha (6)

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass, private collection, photo on Millon .

Unlike buddhas with a bodhisattva appearance, the crowned historical buddha wears a sanghati and either no jewellery (especially in Tibet) or just some earrings and sometimes a necklace. The above has a five-leaf crown with three jewels at the front and his low chignon is topped with a rather disproportionate lotus bud finial. We will note the sharp unibrow and the large raised urna on his forehead.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), property from the estate of Brook Astor, photo on Sotheby’s .

This buddha with broad limbs and harmonious proportions was very likely cast by a Newari artist. His thick snail-like curls are topped with a minute lotus bud finial.

15th century, Tibet, crowned buddha, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

A rare and curious case of a crown with six leaves, each with an effigy of a buddha. Since the standard crown represents the five wisdom buddhas, we may assume that the sixth character is Shakyamuni himself.

From left to right the first buddha does the gesture of supreme generosity with his right hand, the second ‘turns the wheel of dharma‘ with both hands, the third seems to have both hands cupped but on close inspection he probably touches the ground with his right hand, which could correspond to Ratnasambhava, Vairocana and Akshobhya.

The fourth buddha also does the dharmacakra mudra, the fifth has both hands in the meditation gesture, the sixth  does the fear-allaying gesture, which could correspond to Shakyamuni preaching, Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze, private collection, photo on   Drouot

18th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Amitabha’), copper repoussé with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Gros & Delettrez.

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, 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, crowned Shakyamuni – seated (6)

14th-15th century, Nepal or Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper (or brass?), private collection, photo on Christie’s .

A singular un-gilt figure with broad shoulders and a square face, no visible urna, a low floral tiara with small bows and short upward-flowing ribbons, no rosettes, his conical chignon topped with a lotus bud, his robe made of large patches with plain (rather than beaded) seams, a wheel of dharma embossed on the sole of his feet.

14th-15th c., Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze+turq+pig.., 31,3 cm, foliate scrolls borders, vajra, Newar aesthetic, short neck, wide forehead, inlaid urna, straight hairline, domed bud, Sotheby's

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise inlay and pigments, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s

Nepalese-style sculptures of the crowned historical buddha are often lavishly gilt and usually include stone inlay. In most cases there is a vajra sceptre placed horizontally on the lotus base.

 

In this instance turquoise has been used for the square urna and the crown, which has side bows and a traditional kirtimukha design below the main leaf, no rosettes. The hem of his garment is decorated with a chased lotus pattern.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Akshobhya’), gilt gronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Nagel

This buddha’s warm and generous Tibetan facial features are highlighted with pigments, the ribbons of his crown form a ‘raining jewels’ design over his shoulders.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Akshobhya’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Nagel

14th-15th century, Tibet, crowned buddha, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Mossgreen

On occasions the buddha’s headdress consists in a small tiara with ribbons and rosettes instead of a five-leaf crown. This is a rare example with a triratna (flaming triple gem) at the front.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper, private collection, photo on Bonhams

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, silver with copper-inlaid nails and hem, private collection, photo by Nagel https://www.auction.de.

A rare silver statue with copper inlay, the five leaves of the crown are broken but we can still see the small rosettes and pleated ribbons on each side.

Probably 15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, silver, private collection, photo on Nagel

Another silver crowned buddha, dressed in a patched robe with beaded seams, the ribbons of his crown decorated with turquoise-inlaid pendants.

15th century, Tibet, crowned buddha, gilt bronze with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Mossgreen

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Askhobha’), gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Jacques How Choong.

15th c., Tibet, Shakyamuni, crowned, gilt cop., 15,6 cm, vajra on base, sotheby's

15th century, Tibet, Crowned Shakyamuni, gilt copper (with cold gold, pigments, glass inlay), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

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Undated, (Tibet?), Shakyamuni, copper alloy with silver-inlay, private collection, photo  on Himalayan Art Resources HAR

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It is unusual for a patched robe to be so transparent. The urna, crown, rosettes and ribbons of the buddha were once inlaid with stones, his eyes are inlaid with silver, his lips may be inlaid with copper.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Askhobhya’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Marie-Catherine Daffos for aaoarts

 

Tibet, crowned buddha (4)

13th-14th c., Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze+gems, lab. Akshobhya 1207-1357 Huntington, Tibet House M., New Delhi,

1207-1357 (13th or first half of the 14th century), Tibet, Shakyamuni (labelled ‘Akshobhya’), gilt bronze and gems, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi, photo from the Huntington Archive.

We saw in a previous post that figures with a crowned buddha appearance are unlikely to depict a wisdom buddha and usually represent Shakyamuni, who may have a vajra sceptre before him on the lotus throne, as above.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, pigments, paste on the crown and rosettes, private collection, photo by Pundoles.

13th-14th century, Western Himalayas, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy) with traces of pigments, photo by Koller.This buddha wears a plain headband with side bows and a short necklace. There seems to be a wheel of dharma embossed in the palm of his hand.

14th c., Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze+blue pig.+sil. beading+stones, 28,5 cm, cold g. on face+neck, 22mar18, Sotheby's

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze, blue pigment, silver beading, stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

14th-17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze with paint, at the Tibet House Museum in New Delhi, photo from the Huntington Archive.

The discreet tiara with a small central motif plus bows and rosettes on the sides was popular in Tibet during the 15th century.

Tibet, crowned buddha (3)

The posts ‘Tibet, Akshobhya – crowned buddha appearance’ have been revised and re-labelled ‘Tibet, crowned buddha’ as the figures more likely depict the historical buddha. The  first 4 photos below were originally published in general posts on Akshobhya. The others are new on the blog.

13th century, Central Tibet, Shakyamuni?, labelled Askhobhya, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Marcel Nies.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni?, labelled Askhobhya, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

Late 15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni?, labelled Askhobhya, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

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15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, labelled Akshobhya, gilt copper alloy, photo by Christie’s.

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni?, labelled Akshobhya, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, photo by Hollywood Galleries, published on http://www.issuu.com.

Akshobhya may have a buddha appearance (monastic robe and no accessories) or a bodhisattva appearance (princely clothes and accessories) but he is unlikely to have a crowned buddha appearance (monastic robe and crown). The confusion is partly due to the fact that his hand position is the same as on the most common depiction of the historical buddha. Then there is the matter of dress and accessories.

Undated, (Western?) Tibet, Shakyamuni?, labelled Akshobhya, brass with coral, lapis lazuli and turquoise, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This figure wears a buddha’s robe that covers one shoulder only, its hem decorated with an incised geometrical pattern typical of Western Tibet, and a lower garment knotted at the waist like all buddha figures. He also wears a crown with a flaming jewel design and  matching finial on his chignon, some earrings, two necklaces and plain bracelets. The two necklaces and the bracelets are unusual for crowned buddhas in Tibet but we did see a 12th century West Tibetan sculpture of Shakyamuni wearing them, and in the Swat Valley he may even wear armbands.

14th-15th century, (Tibet or Nepal), Shakyamuni, gilt bronze with stones, private collection, photo by Polyauction.

The sanghati is a major element to distinguish between buddha and bodhisattva appearance.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt copper alloy and turquoise, at the Newark Museum (USA).

The historical buddha is often depicted with a patched robe.

The addition of a crown originates from India. At first sight we see a prince who has become a monk. However, it has often been argued that the crown is there to indicate that the historical buddha has reached another realm. 

Tibet, Shakyamuni with rosettes

14th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Pundoles.

There is a group of Nepalese-style sculptures (made in Tibet by Newars) that depict the historical buddha with a broad forehead and a squarish lower jaw, adorned with a headband tied with long ribbons and decorated with rosettes placed above his ears.

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

Usually gilt, they have broad shoulders and big arms. The figure is normally seated and the robe is decorated with an incised hem.

15th c., Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze+paint, 25 cm, Hermitage

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with paint, at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg (Russia).

Occasionally, the headband is more like a diadem, with a bigger rosette at the front.

17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, brass, at the British Museum (London).

This is a later brass version, with different body shape and proportions.