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, Vajravarahi (10)

14th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt copper alloy with stone (and coral) inlay, private collection, photo by Bnohams.

Almost identical to a 14th century Tibetan sculpture published previously, Vajravarahi is identified through the sow’s head sticking out of her right temple. On this occasion, her earrings are inlaid with coral cabochons and her shorter necklace is studded with turquoise.

Same as before, photo by Christie’s.

The deity’s celestial scarf often forms a frame around her. She wears a five-skull crown, a garland of fifty freshly severed heads and bone ornaments, and holds a flaying knife, a skull cup, and a ritual staff in the crook of her left arm.

15th century, Central Tibet, Vajravarahi, copper alloy and pigments, at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

This dark bronze shows her with cold gold on the face and red pigment on the hair, her raised knee resting against a lotus stemming from the base on which there is no victim. Her belt is incised with a geometrical motif, the contours of the festoons and pendants are engraved rather than sculpted. The same technique has been applied to the seams of her lower garment.

Same, stone, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

A stone version, complete with flaming arch and lotus base, her left foot treading on Kalaratri, which represents the ego.

16th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Werner Forman, formerly Philip Goldman collection, published on Werner Forman Archive.

On this work, the artist has used silver inlay for the rim of her crown, her hair ornament, belt, bracelets and anklets, and probably for her eyes and teeth.

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

 

Tibet, Green Tara (8)

14th century, Tibet, Tara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Nagel.

Her right hand in the gesture of supreme generosity, the other bestowing refuge and holding the stem of a lotus, Green Tara is adorned with a low tiara and has her hair coiled into an unusual conical chignon. Her soft facial features are typical of Tibetan art.

Same as before, with silver, gold and turquoise inlay, private collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

The festooned tiara and belt, the richly inlaid lower garment, the heavy breasts and the ornate lotuses on this masterpiece follow the Indian Pala style. She displays a lotus within a diamond (incised) in the palm of her hand.

14th century, Tibet, Tara and devotees, ivory, Nyingjei Lam collection, published on Himalayan Art Resources.

This rare item depicts her with two small kneeling figures, possibly the donors. Above them, scrolled vegetation, an elephant, a snake and various flowers.

14th-15th century, Western Tibet, Tara, copper alloy with stone and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

This figure with silver-inlaid eyes and stone-inlaid jewellery (the stones now missing) is a good example of how West Tibetan artists mixed together elements from outside Tibet with unique features of their own creation, producing highly original pieces, usually un-gilt.

Below the incised rim of her three-leaf crown there is a jewel pendant that rests just above the raised urna on her forehead.

Her lower garment is held in place with a cloth belt knotted at the back and decorated with festoons and pendants.

Late 15th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt copper alloy and pigment, private collection, photo by Christie’s.

Her right foot always rests on a lotus flower stemming from the base.

15th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt metal with cold gold and pigments, is or was at the gTsug Lakhang in Lhasa, published by Ulrich von Schroeder.

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, 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.

 

Tibet, Green Tara (5)

12th century circa, Tibet, Tara, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Bonhams.

Green Tara is seated on a tall Pala-style base, her right foot on a lotus, the stem of a lotus in her left hand, another wound around her right arm, the right hand displaying the fear-allaying gesture. We will note her left foot resting on the right thigh.

12th-13th century, Tibet, Tara, copper alloy, at the National Gallery of Canada.

Another Pala-style image of her with the left foot resting on the right leg. Her hands display the ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘ gesture, she wears a very ornate floral and festooned headdress with a leonine medallion at the centre, foliate armbands, large hoops, a beaded necklace, plain bracelets and anklets, a long lower garment held in place with a belt.

13th century, Southern Tibet, Tara, brass, same as before.

A similar hair ornament with a large leonine head at the centre, her hair fastened into two bunches, her garment richly decorated with incised floral panels, a diamond incised in the palm of her hands. Her left leg is drawn in, with the big toe wide apart.

Labelled ’10th-12th century origin Kashmir or Nepal’ by the Museum, 14th century, Tibet on Himalayan Art Resources, Tara, brass with turquoise and cold gold, at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.

This Pala-style work portrays her with her hair fastened into a bunch on one side and another type headdress, with flowers, bows and ribbons. A broad necklace covers the top of her chest.

18th century, Tibet, Tara, at the Ashmoleum Museum in Oxford (UK).

This is an example of the late Pala-revival style, the goddess’s left hand holding a lotus and leaning on her left knee, her right hand displaying the fear-allying gesture.

18th century, Western Tibet, Tara, bronze (copper alloy) with silver inlay, at the National Gallery in Prague (Czech Republic).

On this variant the left hand simply rests over the knee, the toes of the left foot are held wide apart. Silver inlay has been used for the floral and vegetation pattern on both garments.

 

Tibet, various female deities

16th century, Tibet, unidentified, gilt copper alloy with stone inlay, private collection, published on http://www.castor-hara.com.

This female character in a dancing pose, possibly a retinue figure, has one head and four arms. In her upper hands she holds a skull cup and what looks like a lamp, in the lower hands she has a drum and also held an attribute (now missing) upright.

14th century circa, Tibet, 4-armed goddess, gilt copper alloy with gems, private collection, photo by Rossi & Rossi.

A one-head and four-arm deity, seated at royal ease, her lower hands doing the gestures of supreme generosity and teaching, the other hands holding a blue lotus and another attribute, possibly the stalk of another lotus. Her lower garment is decorated with stone-inlaid visvajras in the Densatil style. A flat celestial scarf acts as a nimbus.

In a very similar style, this deity has three heads and six hands, in which she holds a bow, an arrow, a parasol, a vajra sceptre, and another two objects now missing.