Tibet, karmapas (7)

15th century, Tibet, Karma Pakshi, bronze (brass) with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

A classic portrait of the second karmapa, dressed in full monastic garments and distinctive black hat with a diamond at the front and a sun-and-moon symbol on the top.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Karma Pakshi, bronze with traces of gilding, private collection, photo same as before.

The same, more youthful and without facial hair, his garments decorated with an incised border.

15th century, Tibet, Karmapa, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

A very similar image, possibly of the same person, dressed in the same style, his chest partly uncovered, the face painted with cold gold and pigments.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Karmapa, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction.

This older hierarch holds a long-life vase in both hands.

16th-17th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s https://www.sothebys.com.

An unusual portrait of a karmapa with powerful facial features and oversized hat wearing stiff garments with a very broad hem decorated with a stippled and incised pattern and coarse beading.

16th century, Tibet, Karmapa, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk..

18th century, Tibet, karmapa, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Arcimboldo http://www.arcimboldo.cz.

We have seen many deified lamas, but only one karmapa before. This one holds a vajra sceptre and a vajra bell in his hands crossed over his heart together with the stem of lotuses that support a round jewel and a book.

 

 

 

 

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Tibet, Vajravarahi (14)

Undated (circa 13th century?), Tibet, Vajravarahi, bronze with cold gold and pigments, published in The Potala Holy Palace in the Snow Land, photo on Himalayan Art Resources https://www.himalayanart.org/items/9089.

Vajravarahi, with her usual dakini appearance, standing on Kalaratri atop a double lotus pedestal with a tall plinth decorated with beading and an incised geometrical pattern, wielding a flaying knife and holding a skull cup, a sow’s head clearly protruding from her right temple, a garland of severed heads around her neck, a large lotus and jewel finial on her head. Her ritual staff is missing from the loop on her left shoulder.

14th-15th century, (Tibet), Vajravarahi, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

This one also has her right knee on a lotus springing from the base. There is a triple gem at the apex of the flaming arch.

15th century, (Tibet?), Vajravarahi, zitan wood (red sandalwood) with cold gold, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

The four-hand form of Vajravarahi/Vajrayogini normally has a sow head instead of a human head. If this is her, one of her additional hands once held a drum.

16th century, (Tibet), Vajravarahi, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

The sow’s head is sometimes obscured by the five-skull crown but we can see the snout above her right ear.

18th century, Tibet, Vajravarahi, gilt metal with pigments, private collection, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

This Chinese-style pot-bellied Vajravarahi has the sow’s head on top of her own, amidst her flaming hair.

 

Tibet, various lamas (11)

14th century, Tibet, lama, bronze with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s http://www.christies.com.

We are accustomed to 13th and 14th century copper alloy sculptures of lamas dressed in patched garments with silver-inlaid seams and copper-inlaid hems, sometimes seated on a silver and/or copper-inlaid cloth, in this case with a rice grain motif.

14th century, (Tibet), lama, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

On  this masterpiece the lama has silver-inlaid eyes and beaded hem, and a chased floral pattern on his cloak. He holds a vajra sceptre and a vajra bell.

15th-16th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with stone inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel https://www.auction.de.

Stepped thrones supported by two lions and discreetly inlaid with turquoise and coral were particularly popular in Tibet around the 13th and 14th century. The above has a more showy decoration, including wheels, three gems on a scrolling vine and diamonds, studded with turquoise and clear gems (or glass replacements).

15th century, Tibet, lama, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.co.

This teacher wears loosely draped luxury silk garments with embroidered patches and hems, a plain piece of cloth resting over his right shoulder.

16th century, (Tibet), lama, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.co .

A similar style of clothing, with an incised lotus pattern.

16th century, (Tibet), Kagyu lama, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, same as before.

The distinctive hat of this lama has an embossed sun-and-moon symbol at the front. His lower garment is decorated with a stippled lotus pattern. He holds a manuscript in his left hand.

15th century, (Tibet), Sakya lama, gilt bronze, private collection, same as before.

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

18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Galerie Hioco http://www.galeriehioco.com.

Tibet, Green Tara (16)

16th-17th century, Tibet, Tara, gilt bronze (copper alloy) with turquoise, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s https://www.sothebys.com.

Green Tara, with a blue lotus to her left and an open lotus on the other side and under her right foot, her hands doing the usual gestures to show generosity and give refuge, her tall Pala-style Chignon topped with a flaming jewel, all her accessories inlaid with turquoise at the front and at the back (see next photo).

The petals on the lotus base go all the way round yet the central ones appear to be purposely unfinished.

15th-16th century, (Tibet), Tara, gilt bronze with stones, private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

A similar style, with a carefully chased geometrical pattern adorning her garment.

16th century, Tibet, Tara, copper alloy, private collection, photo on https://images.trocadero.com/stores/Dragonspearl/items/1194135/picture1.jpg.

She may do the fear-allaying gesture with her left hand, as above.

17th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

A Pala revival sculpture of Tara with traces of cold gold on her face, her long garment carefully pleated on one side.

18th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze (copper alloy) with cold gold, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Tara, bronze, is or was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (USA).

Tibet, lamas and their feet

18th century, Tibet, lama, bronze with traces of gilding and pigments, at the Liverpool World Museum (UK).

Teachers are always seated and often depicted with both legs covered with their cloak.

18th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Sotheby’s https://www.sothebys.com.

Or with their right foot uncovered, the sole facing upwards

17th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Renaud Montméat http://www.montmeat-asianart.com.

In this case, the big toe of the other foot is peeping under the cloth.

15th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com.

On these two 15th century sculptures, both feet are uncovered.

13th-14th century, Tibet, lama, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s.

We saw a very similar character from the Navin Kumar collection, including the boss on the sole of his right foot and the small vajra sceptre placed before him. The rim of the lotus base his lower and decorated with an incised lotus at the front.

 

 

 

 

 

Tibet, Akshobhya – buddha appearance (12)

13th century, Tibet, Akshobhya? (labelled Bhaisajyaguru), bronze (brass), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk,

In Tibetan art, Akshobhya may hold his attribute horizontally in his right hand, palm downwards, as above. (Bhaisajyaguru holds an arura fruit or branch with his palm facing upwards).

15th-16th century, Tibet, Akshobhya, bronze (brass) with silver and copper inlay, private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com/.

Alternatively, he holds it upright in the palm of his left hand. This smiling buddha has silver-inlaid eyes and (missing) urna and copper-inlaid lips, which suggests, together with the style of the petals on the lotus base and the Chinese silk garments with a cloud pattern, that perhaps it was made in the Tsang province of Central Tibet.

13th-14th century, Western Himalayas/Tibet, Akshobhya, bronze with silver and copper inlay and pigments, private collection, photo by Nagel https://www.auction.de.

In most cases the vajra sceptre is placed on top of the lotus base before the buddha (who may also be Shakyamuni). On this example, it is on top of the stepped throne supported by Yakshas and decorated with a row of copper and silver-inlaid visvajras (associated with Amoghasiddhi) and a long-life vase (associated with Amitayus/Amitabha) at the front. The eyes of the buddha are inlaid with silver, the hem of his sanghati with copper. It would be interesting to know if there are any symbols associated with Ratnasambha and Vairochana on the other sides of the throne.

16th-17th century, Tibet (labelled Kashmir), Akshobhya, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Lempertz https://www.lempertz.com.

Akshobhya is portrayed here on a throne supported by a yaksha and two elephants. His eyes and urna have been painted with pigments to reproduce earlier silver-inlaid works. The border of his garment and the upper rim of the lotus base are decorated with incisions that recall the early West Tibetan style.

 

Tibet, Shakyamuni seated – bhumisparsha mudra (4)

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Buddhist Art on https://www.buddhist-art.net.

We saw recently a brass sculpture of the historical buddha with a similar v-shaped hairline and prominent knop, seated on a double-lotus base with apple-like petals. This one has a row of exceptionally large beading at the bottom. His right hand is just above the upper rim, in his traditional gesture to call Earth to witness (his enlightenment).

15th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction https://www.polyauction.com.hk.

More often, the middle finger touches the base. In this case, the forefinger is slightly forward. The buddha’s punched navel and the waist of his lower garment are visible through his partially folded robe, the border of the cloth is decorated with a chased pattern.

15th-16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy) with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by 25, Blythe Road http://www.25blytheroad.com.

Here the little finger and forefinger of his right hand are slightly extended forward.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Christie’s https://www.christies.com.

Conventionally, when the right hand calls Earth to witness, the left hand is held in the meditation gesture.

16th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Polyauction.

This buddha presses three fingers of his right hand onto the base.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Michaans https://www.michaans.com.

And on this example the hand is above the base, no finger entering in contact with it.

16th-17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy) private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

It is very rarely held at a slant.

17th century, Tibet, Shakyamuni, gilt bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Florence Number Nine on https://www.liveauctioneers.com.

This one has four fingers going over the edge of the lotus base.