The historical buddha, seated on a cushion and wearing a robe that covers both shoulders, holds a begging bowl in his hands cupped in the gesture of meditation.
He has a thin oval face with a generous lower lip, semi-closed almond-shaped eyes, thick hair curls, no visible urna on his forehead, a low ushnisha topped with a lotus bud finial.
A similar image, with a prominent urna, the hem of his inner garment showing below the hem of his sanghati.
The transparent robe of this buddha reveals the waist of his lower garment forming a peak below a punched navel. The hem of the robe is decorated with four rows of fine beading and the lower part is pleated neatly in a fan shape over the cushion.
On rare occasions Shakyamuni is depicted with both nipples showing, one of them through the diaphanous sanghati he is wearing, possibly to highlight his human condition.
14th century, Nepal, Shakyamuni, nearly pure copper with traces of gilding, private collection, photo by Bonhams.
The vast majority of early sculptures produced in Nepal were made of copper, to which a layer of gilding was added.
The arura fruit in the palm of his right hand identifies this figure as the medicine buddha Bhaisajyaguru, whose only adornments are some large rosettes above his ears.