On this rare and early sculpture, the chignon of the buddha is shaped like a lotus finial. The hem of his diaphanous garments (the dhoti much longer than the robe) is marked with incisions, there is no cloth folded over the left shoulder.
Another, more standard, Pala-style work, with thick folds of cloth fanning over the lotus base, and an extremity of the garment neatly arranged over the left shoulder.
A large majority of Tibetan metal sculptures depict the historical buddha at the moment of enlightenment, his right hand calling Earth to witness, the left hand cupped in the gesture of meditation.
Circa 13th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, copper alloy (brass) with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.
This item illustrates the high degree of craftsmanship acquired by Tibetan artists many centuries ago.
The face of the buddha has been painted with cold gold and his hair dyed with blue pigment, probably lapis lazuli powder. One extremity of his outer garment is arranged in a swallow-tail shape over his left shoulder.
The back of the statue elegantly draped, and with lotus petals all around the base.
The triangular face and the use of black pigment in the hair are the ‘signature’ of a Newari artist working in Tibet, confirmed by the use of pure copper.
The shape of the lotus petals on this rare work is very similar to those on the first sculpture in this post. The plinth is decorated with scrolls and there is a blue lotus on each side of the nimbus behind the buddha’s head.
The broad hem on the robe of his buddha (identified by the dharma wheels on the sole of his feet) is decorated with an incised and stippled geometrical pattern.