Tibet, Vajrapani – Canda (2)

12th-13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze (copper alloy) with pigment, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

In his popular canda form wrathful Vajrapani normally brandishes a single thunderbolt sceptre (vajra) in his right hand; the above holds a double one (visvajra). He wears snake ornaments, a tiger skin around his waist, foliate jewellery and matching crown with rosettes, large floral earrings and a celestial scarf. His flaming hair is topped with a lotus bud finial.

13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, hollow brass with pigments, stone and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

His left hand may do a threatening gesture with the forefinger raised, or a gesture to ward off evil, as above. His tiger skin dhoti is fastened with a snake. His facial hair and mitre-like chignon are painted with orange pigment to signify his wrathful nature.

14th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, silver with turquoise, lapis lazuli and coral inlay, at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (USA).

Although this one has lost his attribute, the position of the hands are those of canda Vajrapani.

 

 

Tibet, Hayagriva alone (2)

12th-13th century, Tibet, Shadbhuja Hayagriva, copper alloy with silver and copper inlay, private collection, published by Rossi & Rossi.

Hayagriva in his three-head and six-hand form, each head with three eyes, bared fangs, earrings and a tall crown, the hair gathered in a bunch, topped in this instance with 9 horses’ heads instead of just one, clad in a tiger skin dhoti and adorned with snake ornaments, jewellery and a sacred thread made of human hair, standing on eight snakes (nagas) on a double lotus base, a small figure (possibly the donor) fastened to the rim. He holds a thunderbolt sceptre (vajra) and a bell (ghanta) in his upper hands, his middle hands do the gesture to hold a lasso and ward off evil, the others may have held a sword and a spear or a ritual staff.

17th century circa, Tibet, Hayagriva, copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

On this more modern work he has one head and two hands and stands on a rocky formation. He wears a long snake as a sacred cord, a celestial scarf, a skull tiara and has a single horse’s head on top of his flaming hair.

Same as before, dark bronze, private collection, photo by Koller.

Following the tradition, he is depicted here with a human hide and an elephant hide across his back. His left hand does a threatening gesture (tarjani) while the other holds a thunderbolt sceptre. He is adorned with a garland of freshly severed heads, snakes, stone-inlaid jewellery (the stones now missing), a five-skull crown and floral earrings. There is a large horse’s head on top of his chignon.

17th century, Tibet, Hayagriva, copper with cold gold and pigments, by Choying Dorje, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

17th century or later, Tibet, possibly Hayagriva, copper with cold gold and pigments, by Choying Dorje or later, Potala Palace collection, published on http://www.asianart.com

 

Tibet, wrathful females (2)

13th century circa, Tibet, dakini, copper alloy, possibly from the Chakrasamavara retinue, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This wrathful dakini holds a skull cup and a flaying knife in her lower hands, a drum and a round object, possibly a fruit, in the upper ones. She is adorned with a five-skull crown , a garland of severed heads, and bone jewellery.

18th century, Tibet, Dakini, gilt copper alloy, at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (USA).

Another ferocious-looking dakini, standing on two victims (one of them with an elephant head and four arms, possibly Ganapati) and holding a flaying knife and skull cup filled with blood.

18th century, Tibet, Bardo deity, private collection, published on http://www.thesaleroom.com

This figure is part of a set of bardo deities, most of them with an animal head (tramen). She stands with one leg on a female victim and wears bone jewellery and a five-skull crown plus a larger skull in her flaming hair. Her flaying knife is missing.

 

Tibet, Green Tara (6)

13th-14th century, Western Tibet, Tara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Green Tara, always seated, a leg unfolded, her foot on a lotus attached to the base, often displays the gesture of supreme generosity with her right hand while the left hand holds the stem of a lotus and does a gesture to ward off evil. In a style unique to Western Tibet, the above has soft moon-like Tibetan facial features enhanced by an exaggeratedly tall five-leaf crown with large bows, complemented by a big  moon and sun finial on her chignon and long braids of hair over her shoulders.

14th century, Tibet, Tara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

This masterpiece depicts her in the same way, an open lotus to her right, a blue lotus to her left, adorned with stone inlaid jewellery and a festooned belt with pendants, her eyes inlaid with silver, her garment and sash richly incised with scrolled vegetation and flowers.

Same as before, gilt copper alloy.

Quite a different style, with with a large open lotus flower to her left.

14th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy, made by a Newari artist in Central Tibet, possibly for the Shalu monastery, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

The Nepalese Malla style is noticeable on this gilt work. Her crown, with kirtimukha on the front panel, his decorated with bows and ribbons and studded with a profusion of small stone cabochons, mainly turquoise. Her other accessories are inlaid with the same stone and lapis lazuli.

15th-15th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, photo by Christie’s

Tibet, White Tara (6)

13th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper or copper alloy, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

The deity is seated on a Nepalese-style lotus base with broad petals, her body and faced are gilt but not the lower garment or the pedestal. She has a third eye (not an urna) on her forehead. Her right hand displays the gesture of generosity, the other holds the stem of a lotus.

17th century, Tibet or Mongolia, Tara, wood, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

The eyes in the palm of her hands  and on her forehead and the fact that her legs are in the vajra position tell us this is White Tara. The left hand is held to hold a (missing) flower.

17th century, Tibet, gilt c.a., private collection, photo by Christie’s.

On this variant, Tara’s left hand does the teaching gesture while holding the (broken) stem of a blue lotus. The tip of her right thumb touches the tip of the forefinger to display knowledge.

First half of the 18th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy repoussé and separately cast parts, stone inlay and pigments, at the Freer and Sackler galleries in Washington DC (USA).

We saw an 18th century Green Tara with a similar type of necklace and cut out lotus recently, both from the same museum. This one has a lower crown which shows her top knot supporting a lotus and flaming jewel finial.

Same, gilt copper and stones, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

An odd mixture of broad shoulders and an exaggeratedly thin waist and elongated torso (the latter recalling 15th century Xuande Ming dynasty works) contrasting with an undersized head. She wears a shawl over her shoulders and a long and ample silk lower garment. The tip of her middle finger on her left hand presses the tip of the thumb, a gesture to ward off evil (in Tibet it is usually seen on wrathful deities holding a lasso).

18th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy with cold gold and pigments, private collection photo by Capriaquar on http://www.asianart.com

A small figure with painted facial features including bushy eyebrows, the hem of her garment and scarf decorated with large beading, the lotuses fastened to her elbows, her left hand doing the gesture to bestow refuge (the tip of the ring finger touching the tip of the thumb).

 

Tibet, standing Tara (2)

12th century, Tibet, Tara, brass with cold gold and pigments, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Standing on a tall lotus base with apple-like petals, Tara does the refuge-bestowing gesture with her left hand while holding the stem of a lotus, her right hand displaying supreme generosity. Her face is painted with cold gold, the hair is dyed with blue pigment. She wears a garland and a diaphanous sash across her chest and two see-through lower garments, held in place with a heavy belt decorated with pendants.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze with cold gold, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This Pala-style sculpture depicts her on a single lotus over a stepped tortoise-base typical of Northeast India, wearing a long stripy garment  with a stippled floral motif. Her low tiara with large bows reveals an exaggeratedly tall chignon with showy ornaments.

There  is a round object in the palm of her right hand, possibly a large gem.

There are over twenty different forms of Tara and most of them are usually seated but they may be standing.

Undated (18th century circa?), Tibet, Tara, gilt metal, at the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York (USA).

 

 

Tibet, Green Tara (7)

13th century, Tibet or Northeast India, Tara, bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Green Tara’right arm leans on her knee, her hand held up to dispel fear. She has the stem of a lotus in her left hand and wears Indian-style jewellery and accessories.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Tara, copper alloy with silver and stone inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This one wears highly original stone-inlaid jewellery including heavy necklaces with big pendants, the overall effect quite reminiscent of contemporary West Tibetan works.

Her eyes are inlaid with silver and her face shows traces of cold gold. She holds the stem of a blue lotus in her left hand.

She has the head of Amitabha on top of her chignon.

13th-14th century, same, parcel-gilt copper alloy, possibly a copy of an East Indian prototype, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This combination of plain copper alloy for the striped lower garment and the lotus base and gilding for the body and face is unusual. Parcel-gilding normally consists in apply gold to the clothes and accessories, leaving the skin bare. She sits with her left foot resting on her right thigh, both toes sticking up.

17th century, Tara, gilt copper alloy, private collection, published on http://www.primaportaantiquities.com.

The low tiara on this figure reveals a tall chignon topped with a finial. Her long limbs and elongated torso typical of the period contrast with the low lotus base. Her left hand displays the teaching gesture while holding the stem of a lotus, the other does the gesture of supreme generosity.

17th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze (copper alloy), same as before.

A similar style with no gilding, her calf-length lower garment incised with a floral pattern all over, the rectangular plinth also decorated with a chased pattern.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze (brass) with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

On the contrary, this little Nepalese-style sculpture depicts her with short limbs and no visible chignon. Her accessories, including two rather geometrical lotuses are inlaid with large turquoise cabochons.

18th century, Central Tibet, Tara, Green or Yellow, gilt copper repoussé with turquoise and coral inlay, at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC (USA).

A Mongolian or Chinese influence is more than evident on this very ornate item. She wears a tall five-leaf crown with a larger tripartite central panel, richly inlaid with turquoise and coral, turquoise-inlaid jewellery including a necklace which looks more like a breast plate, large ear ornaments with a cut-out scrolled vegetation design, a shawl knotted across her chest. She holds the stems of lotuses with delicately cut-out leaves and florets.