The historical buddha is surrounded by five figures, probably the five tathagatas. He holds a begging bowl in his left hand and touches the earth with the other.
This brass sculpture with a copper-inlaid hem and a tall double-lotus base with plump petals belongs to a group of early Tibetan Pala-style works with very harmonious lines and proportions.
The buddha’s chignon is topped with a rare flaming finial indicating the moment of enlightenment. His eyes and urna are inlaid with silver and his lips with copper.
This figure, complete with begging bowl, sits on a rare double lotus base topped with a row of stamens, no beading, the two levels separated by a plain band in the middle. The buddha himself as an unusually elongated chignon topped with a large lotus bud finial. The hem of his sanghati is decorated with an incised geometrical pattern.
Here there is a vajra sceptre in front of him on the base (and a bowl in his left hand).
This rare work depicts him with a lotus bud under his middle finger.
The iconography is the same for Akshobhya…
but the embossed lotus-like wheels on the sole of his feet identify him as Shakyamuni.
15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.