Tibet, Ushnishavijaya (7)

15th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, silver with turquoise, coral (cold gold) on a copper (brass) base, private collection, photo on Hanhai Auction

Ushnishavijaya in her popular three-head and eight-hand form, an effigy of Amitabha in her top right hand, the left one displays the fear-allaying gesture, a long-life vase in the lower left hand, the lower right one displays the gesture of supreme generosity. The missing attributes are a visvajra at heart level in her main hands, a bow and an arrow in her middle hands.

15th century, Tibet?, Ushnishavijaya, (silver with stone inlay on a gilt copper alloy base), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

Another silver sculpture with cold gold on the face and a gilt metal lotus base, her hands in a slightly different position, the arrow still in place.

Circa 17th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, silver with stone inlay, private collection, photo on Bonhams

On this third silver image her third eye is clearly visible.

18th c., Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt bronze, 19,7 cm, 3 heads, Sotheby's

18th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s .

Alternatively, she holds the visvajra in one of her main hands and a lasso in the other.

Undated, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya (copper alloy with silver and copper inlay), private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources

An early mixed-style work with Indian features such as the pose, the treatment of the eyes and the use of copper and silver inlay on her garment…

decorated with beaded seams and a diamond/lozenge pattern.

18th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy, turquoise and cold gold, private collection, photo by on Bonhams

 

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Tibet, Ushnishavijaya (6)

17th c., Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt bronze, 17,8cm, Michaan's

17th century, Tibet (or China?), Ushnishavijaya, gilt bronze (copper alloy) and pigments, private collection, photo by Michaan’s.

Ushnishavijaya in her three-head and eight-hand form. Each head has three eyes, all the hair is gathered into a knot topped with a jewel. Her attributes are missing. The standard ones in Tibet are a visvajra (held between her main hands at heart level), a long life vase (in her lower left hand), a bow (middle left hand), an effigy of Amitabha (top right hand), and an arrow or a vajra sceptre (middle right hand). The lower right hand is held in the gesture of supreme generosity. The upper left hand does the fear-allaying gesture and may hold a lasso.

18th century, Eastern Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, parcel gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Koller.

We have seen before that (relatively) recent works often depart from traditional iconography: in her three-head form, this deity always has eight hands, yet the above has three heads but only six hands. She may have held a visvajra in her top right hand, while the effigy of Amitabha would have been on a lotus in one of the lower hands.

A view of the back shows that there is no broken limb.

Tibet, Ushnishavijaya (5)

15th c. cir., Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt bronze, 14,5 cm, Amitabha, lasso?, bow, arrow, visvajra, varada, vase, 13056 har, Sotheby's

15th century circa, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This is  the three-head and eight-hand form of this long-life goddess, the main hands holding a double thunderbolt sceptre (visvajra),  the lower right hand doing the gesture of supreme generosity, the left one sustaining a long-life vase, her middle hands holding a bow and an arrow, her upper right one an effigy of Amitabha seated on a lotus. The missing object in the top left hand was either a lasso or a thunderbolt sceptre.

17th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Here the attributes are missing but the position of the hands is similar. The facial features, shape of the crown and use of parcel gilding are typical of 17th and 18th century Tibeto-Chinese style works (made by a Tibetan artist for a Chinese patron).

Same as before, at the Johnson Museum in Cornwell University (USA).

On this fully gilt example, the arrow is missing from her middle right hand.

Tibet, Ushnishavijaya (4)

15th-16th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, copper alloy with silver inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, copper alloy with silver inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Ushnishavijaya, with three heads and eight hands, seated in the vajra position, holding in her right hands, from top to bottow, Amitabha seated on a lotus, an arrow, a visvajra, the lower hand displaying the gesture of generosity, and in her left hands, a lasso, a bow, a (missing) vajra sceptre and a long-life vase.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper, is or was at Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper, is or was in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

On this variant, two arms are joined together on each side and all three faces are semi-wrathful. Her face is painted with cold gold and pigments, her hair dyed with lapis lazuli powder.

16th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie's.

16th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This is part of an ornamental stupa topped with a double lotus base with incised (rather than sculpted) leaves, supporting the long-life deity, her main face smiling, her eight hands in the standard position.

Undated, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, at Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

Undated, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, at Musée Guimet in Paris (France).

Tibet, Ushnishavijaya (3)

13th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, copper alloy with turquoise and coral inlay, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

13th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, copper alloy with turquoise and coral inlay, at the Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

This female long-life deity is often portrayed with three faces and 8 hands, as above.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy with stone and coral inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

She usually has one smiling face and two semi-wrathful ones.

Same as before, parcel-gilt silver, same as before.

Same as before, parcel-gilt silver with stone inly, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Her attributes are often missing but her three heads and the position of her eight hands leave no doubt as to her identity.

16th-17th c., Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, sil.+ cold g., gilt c.a. base, close up, Christie's

Each of her faces has a third eye (not to be confused with an urna).

18th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, copper repoussé with gilt scarf and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie's.

18th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, copper repoussé with gilt copper scarf and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Tibet, Ushnishavijaya (2)

15th-16th century, Tibet, Ushnisha Vijaya, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Christie's.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy and stones, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This long-life deity is represented here with three faces (2 wrathful ones at the back) with three eyes and eight hands, in which she has various attributes such as a long-life vase, a double thunderbolt or visvajra, a vajra, a bow, an arrow, an effigy of buddha Amitabha sitting on a lotus, and two of her hands doing a symbolical gesture. She is adorned with jewellery inlaid with turquoise and each head wears a crown inlaid with stones and decorated with bows.

17th-18th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, at the Neuchatel museum.

17th-18th century, Tibet, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, at the Musée d’Ethnologie de Neuchatel (Switzerland).

Tibet, Ushnishavijaya

15th century, Tibet, goddess Ushnishavijaya with attributes, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, pigment

15th century, Tibet, goddess Ushnishavijaya with attributes, gilt copper alloy inlaid with stones, pigment, Rubin Museum of Art (USA).

This long-life deity may have one or three heads and 2 to 8 hands, in which she holds various attributes including a small statue of buddha Amitabha seated on a lotus (top right hand), a long-life vase (bottom left hand), a bow (middle left hand), a double thunderbolt (visvajra), often held in her main hands at heart level as above and below.

18th century, Tibet, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy and pigment, private collection

18th century, Tibet (labelled ‘China’ on Himalayan Art Resources, Ushnishavijaya, gilt copper alloy and pigment, at the Royal Ontario Museum (Canada).

The lower left hand is held in the varada mudra (bestowing generosity). The ample draping of her dhoti, along with the long hair over her shoulder and the shape of the lotus base indicate a Chinese influence but the softness and simplicity of the overall contours and the gentleness of her moon-like face point to a Tibetan artist.