Sculptures of this worldly protector are few and relatively recent. His cult was banned by the 14th dalai lama in the 1980s. He has one head, two hands and two legs and rides a snow lion or a black horse. He wears a riding helmet (missing here) and flowing garments, and holds a ripped human heart close to his mouth with his left hand while brandishing a (missing) curved knife or a butcher’s stick in the other.
We saw a very similar sculpture of Begtse Chen attributed to Tibet and dated 18th century. The above has slightly different accessories and facial features, and the face has been painted with cold gold and pigments.
Begtse Chen wears a Mongolian armour and holds a sword with a scorpion hilt in his right hand and the heart of his enemies in the other. The above also holds a spear with a banner, and an arrow. His left foot crushes a human being and his right foot tramples on an animal (traditionally a horse).
Here the artist has depicted him with his hair tied in a bunch and topped with a lotus finial. The Rubin Museum tells us that he is adorned with a mirror (worn as a breast plate) and a garland of severed heads.
The form of Pehar who rides a lion normally has three heads and six arms. Dorje Legpa in his two-hand form may ride a lion, a goat or a camel. He holds a vajra sceptre in his right hand and a human heart in the other, as the above figure. Both may wear a cymbal-shaped hat.
The four-arm form of Mahakala (chaturbhuja) seated may hold a skull cup and a heart, or a coconut fruit shaped like a human heart. The above holds what looks like one, painted with red pigment.