Tibet, seated Maitreya – with legs pendent (3)

12th century, Tibet, Maitreya, bronze (brass, traces of cold gold on the skin), private collection, photo on Apsarah 

Maitreya is depicted as the future buddha, his hands ‘turning the wheel of dharma‘, his legs pendent, the feet placed on a single lotus fastened to the plinth. When seated this way he may hold a champaka flower or a branch from a champaka/naga tree.

15th century, Tibet, Maitreya, gilt bronze with turquoise, private collection, photo on Beaussant-Lefèvre   .The corners of this throne are decorated with diamond symbols inlaid with turquoise.

16th century, (Tibeto-Chinese?), Maitreya, copper with turquoise and coral inlay, private collection, photo on Ethereal.

Maitreya’s garments and his throne are decorated with various stippled and incised motifs. His feet rest on a projecting platform embellished with large turquoise-inlaid flowers at the front.

16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, bronze with cold gold and turquoise, private collection, photo on Art d’Asie, Christie’s.

Some wheels of dharma incised at the front of this throne are showing on each side of the voluminous folds of Maitreya’s garments. The platform below is decorated with a chased rice-grain and floral pattern and the plinth has a lotus bud in each corner.

16th-17th c., Tibet, Maitreya, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Sotheby’s

Maitreya in his bodhisattva appearance, holding the stem of flowers that support a wheel (to his right) and a ritual water pot (to his left). He wears Chinese-style accessories including delicate beaded necklaces, large wheel and floral pendant earrings, matching armbands and bracelets.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Maitreya, copper alloy with cold gold and turquoise, photo on Millon.

Maitreya with a stupa finial on his chignon and a ritual pot on the blue lotus to his left.


Tibet, Vajravidarana (2)

17th century, Tibet, Vajravidarana, metal, at the Indian Museum of Kolkata (India), photo by Rob Linrothe here

This male meditational deity is an aspect of buddha Vajrasattva and may look like him except for the visvajra instead of a vajra sceptre in his right hand. In his green form (with a green body on paintings) he has a semi-wrathful countenance with a third eye and bared fangs, as above.

Bhutan, a few deities (2)

18th century, Bhutan, Guru Dragpo Marchen, gilt copper alloy, cold gold, pigments, turquoise, at the Trashigang Gönpa in Thimphu, photo on AKG

Guru Dragpo, with one head, 2 arms and 2 legs, brandishing a vajra sceptre and holding a scorpion, adorned with a skull crown, a garland of severed heads. This wrathful form of Padmasambhava usually treads on two victims, here we have four. He wears the hide of an elephant over his back, a tiger skin round his waist, topped with a human hide (instead of the usual garland of heads around his neck).

18th century, Bhutan, Four-arm Avalokiteshvara, gilt copper alloy with cold gold, pigments and turquoise, at the National Museum of Bhutan in , photo by Michael Tropea Art Aujourd’hui  

In his popular four-hand form, Avalokiteshvara holds a wish-granting gem in his main hand joined before his heart, a (missing) rosary and a lotus in the others.

Circa 18th century, Bhutan, Chakrasamvara, polychrome clay and wood, private collection, photo on Gaïa

A rare clay sculpture of Samvara and Vajravarahi in embrace, holding their usual attributes and standing on two victims, adorned with skull crowns and bone jewellery. She wears a garland of skulls, he wears a garland of severed heads, as is traditional in Himalayan art.

18th century, Tibet or Bhutan, Vaishravana (labelled ‘Jambhala’), wood with cold gold, mother of pearl, ivory, private collection, photo on Matthew Barton

Vaishravana, dressed in Mongolia armour and felt boots, holds a mongoose in his left hand and would have had a banner of victory or a parasol in the other, now missing. Cold gold has been used to decorate his clothes with large flowers and with a small geometrical motif on the hem, the belt and the plates of his armour. The use of mother-of-pearl for the flowers on his breastplates and ivory for his ear ornaments is unusual.

Bhutan, a few lamas (3)

Circa 17th century, Bhutan, Ngawang Namgyel, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 4

The founder of the Bhutanese kagyu order is often depicted as an elderly man with a thin moustache and goatee, seated at ease on a Bhutanese-style lotus base, coiffed with the drukpa kagyu fan-shaped hat. In this case he holds a manuscript in his right hand and a vase of longevity in the other.

The cavity of the lotus base is filled with scrolls.

Unlabelled (circa 18th century?, Bhutan, possibly Ngawang Namgyel, gilt metal with cold gold and pigments), private collection, photo on HAR

A teacher seated on a similar lotus base, with lobed petals overlapping and going upward, his left hand in the gesture of debate. He probably held a manuscript in his right hand.

17th-18th century, Bhutan, Ngawang Namgyal, gilt copper (alloy?), private collection, photo on Hanhai Auction

Pala India, a few yaksha figures

Circa 10th-11th century, Eastern India, unidentified yaksha, black stone, private collection, photo on Kapoor Galleries

This friendly and beautifully crafted yaksha must be an important entity since he is accompanied by two apsaras, in clouds attached to his halo, and two attendants with a bodhisattva appearance, who lean on a post and hold a lotus. Like Yellow Jambhala, he holds a citrus fruit in his right hand, and the jewel on his chignon points to a wealth deity too, but there is no mongoose in his left hand. Instead, he holds the stem of a blue lotus.

Pala period (circa 12th century?Northeast India?), Vajrapani, copper alloy, private collection, photo Ethereal  .

Clad in a tight-fitting tiger skin loin cloth with a thick border, wrathful Vajrapani wields a vajra sceptre and does a threatening gesture – the attribute missing from his left hand was probably a lasso or perhaps a bell.

12th century, Northeast India? (labelled ‘Pala period’), Chaturbhuja Mahakala, stone, private collection, photo on Ethereal as before.

Mahakala with four hands, seated on a victim whose right arm shows under him, his right leg pendent and the foot placed on a lotus. He holds a flaying knife and a skull cup in his main hands, a staff in the upper left one, a (now broken) sword in the other, and is adorned with jewellery, snakes and a garland of human skulls.

12th-13th century, Northeast India, Jambhala, Pala style, copper alloy, private collection, photo on  Lempertz.

Yellow Jambhala, seated in royal ease, his right foot on a vase of abundance supported by a lotus bud, displaying a citron in his right hand while the mongoose in his left hand disgorges jewels onto his lap. The plinth of the lotus base is decorated with scrolling vines.

Tibet, Wrathful Vajrapani (14)

15th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 4.

Chanda Vajrapani, brandishing a vajra sceptre in his right hand and doing a threatening gesture with the other while holding a (missing) lasso, adorned partly with snakes and partly with princely accessories including a five-leaf crown.

15th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze (brass), private collection, on Christie’s

14th century, Tibet (or later copy?), Vajrapani, gilt bronze with cold gold and pigment, private collection?, photo on GG-ART

15th-16th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, published in ‘The Buddhist Deity Vajrapani’ by Gouriswar Bhattacharya on Academia.eduThis one wears a tripartite crown with a large floral design and wide bows, bulky jewellery, a sacred cord, small snakes around his wrists and ankles.

16th century, Tibet, Canda Vajrapani, gilt bronze, private collection, photo by Shirley Day Ltd, same publication as before.

The author of the article points out that on this image Vajrapani has one foot on a snake and the other on a human victim. Also, the long snake used as a sacred thread goes over his right shoulder (on early works it is usually over the left shoulder but on the first picture and on the next one it is also worn over the right shoulder). Among his princely jewellery we will note the cross-belt with a central flower and ‘raining-jewel’ pendants.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, copper alloy and pigments, photo by Capriaquar on Academia Edu .

18th century, Tibet, Vajrapani (labelled Mahakala), bronze with traces of lacquer and pigment, private collection, photo by Beaussant-Lefèvre, Arts d’Asie 2016.

Late Tibetan sculptures of wrathful deities are often in the Chinese style, with a much fiercer look, bushy eyebrows, pointed fingers and toes, sharp flaming hair, a flat scarf with serpentine ends, and the tail of the tiger skin dangling at the front.

13th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, bronze, private collection, photo on Eddie’s Auction

Wrathful Vajrapani with a tripartite hair bunch – see the new page in the ‘comparing works’ section of this blog in the left-hand margin-  and a bell in his left hand.

18th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, gilt bronze (copper alloy with pigment), private collection, photo on Artcurial .

Vajrapani with an upturned bell in his left hand, crushing a single victim with a human appearance.

Nepal, Jambhala (3)

14th century, Nepal, Jambhala, copper, private collection, photo on Paris Sotheby’s

On this early sculpture Yellow Jambhala has a human appearance, with long strands of hair falling over his shoulders, and his mongoose stands on his lap, looking up at the egg-shaped citron in his right hand. His princely headdress is decorated with a gem.

17th century possibly, Nepal, Jambhala (labelled ‘Kubera’), gilt bronze, at the British Museum  in London (UK).

Yellow Jambhala with a yaksha appearance, adorned with bulky accessories and wearing a long garment decorated throughout with a chased and stippled motif, his right foot on what appears to be a lotus attached to the base.

18th century, Nepal, Jambhala, stone, private collection, photo on Hardt .

Seated on a cushion atop a throne supported by vases, one of them tipped over to support his right foot.