Tibet, Padmasambhava – variations (8)

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo and close up on Hardt .

We saw an almost identical sculpture of a plump and beardless Padmambhava with a frowning gaze here, with stone-inlaid instead of plain metal jewellery. The border of his sumptuous layman’s clothes, his small cape and his lotus hat (with a sun and moon at the front and a vulture feather on top) are incised with a foliate pattern. The ritual staff placed against his left shoulder includes a vajra sceptre. His eyes are inlaid with silver and the urna on his forehead is like the historical buddha’s, i.e. a small lock of hair.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Lempertz, sale 1053 lot 456.

On this variant the vajra sceptre in his right hand is pointing to the skull cup held high up before him, leaving no room for a long-life vase or a jewel, and his legs are not quite locked. His unusual hat is made of triangular leaves set wide apart.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze, private collection, photo on Koller.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze (copper alloy) with traces of cold gold, private collection, photo by Lempertz, sale 1146 lot 314.

Seated on a singular lotus base with a ritual vase (kalash) at the front.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava (labelled ‘painted wood figure), wood, private collection, photo by Wannenes Group, 2017.

Wearing a meditation cloak over his small cloud-shape cape.

18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze with silver-inlaid eyes, private collection, photo on Hardt as before.

As an elderly man, holding the vajra sceptre almost upright.

Tibet, Padmasambhava – different forms (3)

Circa 14th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 4.

A rare sculpture of Dorje Drolo, wielding a vajra sceptre in his right hand and holding a kila peg in the other. This wrathful form of Padmasambhava has three eyes and normally stands on a prostrate tigress, or rides a tiger. The above stands on the skin of the animal.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Orgyan Dorje Chang, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Pundoles  

As Orgyan Dorje Chang he has a semi-wrathful appearance, including a third eye, and sits in embrace with one of his consorts.

Unlabelled (Tibet?, gilt copper alloy, cold gold and pigments), Nyima Oser, item 49331 on Himalayan Art Resources.

As Nyima Oser he has a mahasiddha appearance, wearing a tiger skin loin cloth, bone accessories and a skull crown. His attributes are a ritual staff, either propped against his left arm or held in his right hand as above, and sun rays or a lasso in the other hand. The above has both, as can be seen  here   

Tibet, Padmasambhava – variations (7)

18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, silver alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams.

Padmasambhava with a child-like appearance, seated at ease on a lotus, his eyes wide open, a skull cup containing a long-life vase in his left hand, a ritual staff propped against his shoulder, a vajra sceptre in his right hand placed above his knee. He wears his distinctive lotus hat with a moon and sun symbol at the front, topped with a vulture feather and streamers, and a cape over his shoulders.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze with pigments, private collection, photo on Bonhams .

With a grown-up appearance but no facial hair, seated with his legs locked, the vajra sceptre pointing to his heart.

18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze (copper alloy) with cold gold, pigment and turquoise, private collection, photo on  Drouot .

With a thin moustache and goatee.

16th century, Tibet Padmasambhava and consorts, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s, sale 18519 lot 22.

With his consorts, Mandarava and Yeshe Tsogyal.

Tibet, Padmasambhava (18)

15th-16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Bonhams, London .

Guru Rinpoche seated with his legs locked and wrapped in a fine embroidered silk cloak, coiffed with his usual lotus hat decorated with a sun and moon symbol and a half-vajra finial, a vulture feather missing from the top. There is a vajra sceptre in his right hand pointing to his heart and a skull cup in his left hand.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, green steatite, private collection, photo on origineexpert  .

A rare stone version (the vajra sceptre missing from his right hand).

15th-16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Leonard Joel .

Unlabelled (15th or 16th century?, Tibet, brass with turquoise inlay), Padmasambhava, item 11711 on HAR.

Complete with ritual staff in the crook of his left arm.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze with stone and silver repoussé, at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (USA).

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze, at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich (Switzerland), photo on the Huntington Archive

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, parcel-gilt copper alloy, photo on Capriaquar .

18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava (labelled ‘celestial buddha’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on liveauctioneers  .

Tibet, Padmasambhava – variations (6)

Undated, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze (brass) with cold gold, pigments and turquoise inlay, private collection, photo on HAR

A classic representation of the Indian teacher, seated in the vajra position and holding a vajra sceptre pointing to his heart and a skull cup, his lotus hat decorated with a sun-and-moon symbol at the front and topped with a vulture feather, dressed in kingly attire.

Undated, Tibet?, Padmasambhava, gilt copper alloy with stone or glass inlay, private collection, photo on HAR

On this curious image he has the wide gaze of a yogi. The sides of his hat are unfolded, the vajra sceptre is held diagonally and there is another, larger one before him on the lotus base. He appears to have a sleeveless garment on top of a long-sleeve one, a cloak and a necklace over it.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, metal, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland), item 3314793 on HAR.

With his consorts, Mandarava, who holds a pot with a lid, and Yeshe Tsogyal, who holds a skull cup.

18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava and his 8 incarnations, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Hardt (page 60).

A late tree-like arrangement with Padmasambhava at the centre and his eight emanations around him. Sengge Dradog, wielding a vajra sceptre and doing a threatening gesture at heart level and Dorje Drolo wielding a vajra sceptre and holding a kila peg downwards, his tiger mount missing, are at the foot of the lotus throne. Above them, Nyima Oser with a mahasiddha appearance, wearing a scarf and a skull crown and holding a lasso and a ritual staff (vice-versa in this case) and Sakya Sengge, with a buddha appearance and holding an alms bowl in his left hand and a vajra sceptre in the other. Further above, the image is too blurred to distinguish with certainty Pema Gyalpo, who wears kingly attire and holds a drum in his right hand and a mirror plus a bowl in the other from Loden Chogse, also in kingly attire and holding a drum in his right hand and a mirror or a skull cup in the other; at the top, Orgyen Dorje Chang in embrace with his consort, and Pema Jungne wearing a pandita hat and doing the gesture of debate with his right hand, supporting a bowl with the other.

Circa 18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt metal, item 1109 on HAR.

Dressed like a buddha, part of his chest and his left arm bare, and adorned with floral earrings and a necklace.

Tibet, Padmasambhava – variations (5)

15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze (copper alloy), Navin Kumar collection, item 70644 on Himalayan Art Resources.

Padmasambhava, identified by the vulture feather on his hat and his attributes, is seated with his legs locked, pointing a vajra sceptre to his heart and holding a skull cup in his left hand, his ritual staff propped against his left shoulder. His facial features with almond-shaped eyes and the large solar symbol at the front of his hat are reminiscent of the famous mohras from Himachal Pradesh (see here). 

Undated (15th or 16th century, Tibet, Tsang province, Padmasambhava, (brass), private collection, photo on HAR

Obviously made by a Tibetan artist, the above has a moon-like face with small silver-inlaid eyes and pursed lips typical of a group of brass works attributed to a Tsang province workshop. He has a tear-shaped urna on his forehead and the traditional sun-and-moon symbol at the front of his hat.

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, metal (brass) with turquoise and silver inlay, private collection, item 200467 on HAR.

Guru Rinpoche (or Rimpoche), as he is also known, often wears large floral earrings and sumptuous silk clothes with an embroidered hem. On this example his garments are richly incised with a floral pattern. His urna and his accessories are inlaid with small turquoise cabochons, including the sun and the vajra symbol on his lotus-shaped hat and the rosettes and streamers on each side.

17th-18th century, Tibet or Mongolia, Padmasambhava, bronze, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

An unusual portrait of him seated at ease with his left knee raised, wearing a pointed hat, plain clothes, felt boots and no jewellery.

17th . cir?, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt metal, 13198 HAR

Undated, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt metal, private collection, photo on HAR

Even more unusual is this image of him in plain monastic garments (rather than a layman’s or kingly attire that covers both arms) and sitting on a tiger skin over the type of square cushions that were popular during the 17th century and beyond.

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy) repoussé, private collection, photo by Waddingtons.

Donning a prominent hat topped with a heavy half-vajra and vulture feather finial.

Tibet, Padmasambhava (17)

15th-16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo on Pundoles

Guru Rinpoche seated with his legs locked, holding his vajra sceptre higher up than usual, a skull cup placed in his left hand above his lap. His face is painted with cold gold, his eyes, thin moustache and tiny goatee with black pigment, he is coiffed with his traditional lotus hat with a moon and sun symbol at the front and a vulture feather on the top.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, bronze (copper alloy) with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Lempertz, auction 1034.

When seated this way his vajra sceptre normally points to his heart as above. The shape of the lotus base and the pieces of metal protruding on the sides suggest that this sculpture was part of a composition, possibly with his two wives on a smaller scale, standing next to him. The cloud-shaped cape that covers his shoulders is part of his garb.

Late 15th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Live Auctioneers

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Sotheby’s

A rare example of him holding the vajra sceptre upright in his hand and away from his heart.

16th c., Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze+turq., Mokotoff

16th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Mokotoff

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries

17th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy) photo by Armandantiques

18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy, with cold gold and pigments), private collection, photo on Arts d’Asie

18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Koller

18th century, Tibet, Padmasambhava (labelled karmapa), gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on https://www.lot-art.com