Undated, Tibet, Vajradaka, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.
This rare Vajradaka purification set is very similar to a circa 16th century brass one published in a previous post (sold by Christie’s). The square plinth with eight ornate legs supports a cylindrical pan perforated with holes (for the combustion of the charcoal inside) and decorated with an upright vajra. The deity squats on the lid, his hands crossed over his heart and holding a vajra sceptre and a vajra-handled bell, his head thrust back, the mouth wide open for the smoke to come out.
Undated (Malla period), Tibet, Vajradaka, gilt copper alloy with turquoise inlay, same as before.
This rare Nepalese-style item shows him standing with his right leg bent like most other wrathful deities do, and bedecked with turquoise-inlaid jewellery.
Undated, Tibet, metal, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.
He is short and pot-bellied, and normally naked. The above wears a tiger skin dhoti worn with the tail of the animal at the front, a feature often seen on 18th-19th century sculptures.
16th century, Tibet, Vajradaka, brass, private collection, photo by Christie’s.
A side view of this example reveals long flaming hair gathered in a bunch.
16th-17th century, Tibet, Vajradaka, bronze, private collection, photo by Arcimboldo.
This one wears a helmet over his long hair, an interesting feature not normally associated with this deity.
Undated (circa 18th century?), Tibet, Vajradaka, metal, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland).
Undated (18th or 19th century), Tibet, Vajradaka, brass, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.
He is adorned with a garland of severed heads and some jewellery including earrings, armbands, bracelets, and anklets. This late example, who has his legs crossed, wears a flowing celestial scarf with serpentine ends and matching crown ribbons.
Undated, Tibet, Vajradaka, copper alloy, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.
When this blog was created, hardly any images of Vajradaka were available. Now there are a lot more (partly thanks to the very useful Himalayan Art Resources website – see link in left-hand margin) and we can observe that he may be standing, squatting or seated, in which case his legs may be crossed, gathered before him with both knees bent, or loosely gathered with only one knee bent as above.