Tibet, Yellow Jambhala (21)

13th century, Tibet, Jambhala, brass, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

Peaceful Jambhala is seated on a lotus supported by (inverted?) ritual pots and diamond-shaped columns, his right foot placed on another such pot. He holds a citrus fruit in his right hand and a mongoose disgorging jewels in the other and is adorned with a garland of pots, snakes, princely jewellery and matching tiara, a jewel finial on his pile of matted hair. The sash across his chest and his long dhoti are decorated with a stippled lotus motif.

13th century, Tibet, Yellow Jambhala, brass, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères.

On rare occasions he holds a gem-shaped fruit but this one appears holds a gem on a lotus that matches the finial on his Pala-style chignon. His right foot is placed on a ritual pot (kalash).

14th century, Tibet, Jambhala, brass, photo here , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

This Jambhala, adorned with princely jewellery and a garland of beads and pots, is seated on a cushion decorated with an incised pattern, atop a singular lotus seat with two layers of petals going downwards and lotus buds going around the base, one of them supporting the kalash.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Jambhala, copper partly gilt (plus cold gold, stones and pigment), photo here , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

Quite a different style, with a ritual pot on each side of the lotus seat, a rosary (of pots) in his left hand and his jewel-spitting mongoose tucked under his left arm. The stone-inlaid object between his right arm and his chest is probably a vase (see other example below).

15th century, Tibet, Jambhala, gilt copper with cold gold, stones and pigment, photo here , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

We have seen a few other sculptures including a kalash in the crook of his right arm.

15th century or later, Tibet (or Nepal?), (Jambhala) bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Waddingtons .

Yellow Jambhala featured as a young yaksha seated on a lotus atop a plinth with ritual pots at the front and another above, adorned with floral accessories, holding the usual citron and mongoose.

15th century or later, Tibet, Jambhala, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo by Waddingtons as before.

Another example with a rosary of pots in his left hand and a garland around his neck. Presumably the mongoose is tucked under his left arm and he has a pot of gems under his right arm.

15th century, Tibet, Jambhala, gilt metal (brass), (recently) painted face and hair, is or was at the Tashi Lhunpo monastery, photo on Himalayan Art Resources.

A rotund yaskha adorned with a celestial scarf forming a halo behind his head, a garland of pots and stone-inlaid accessories (most gems missing). His mongoose, which he holds by the neck, disgorges ‘raining jewels’ onto the base.

18th century, Tibet, Jambhala, gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Galerie Zacke .

Chinese-style work often depict him as an older character, with bushy eyebrows, a moustache and beard. The above wears a singular crown with jewels, a scarf or shawl, princely jewellery and a long lower garment. His mongoose vomits snail-like jewels that cover the entire surface of the lotus seat and his right foot is placed on a conch atop a large lotus flower stemming from the lower rim.

Tibet, Jambhala – various forms (6)

14th century, Tibet, Black Jambhala, brass with turquoise and coral inlay, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

Alone, naked and ithyphallic, Black Jambhala is adorned with snakes and holds a skull cup in his right hand and a jewel-spitting mongoose in the other while standing on a male wealth deity.  The artist has inlaid the eyes with silver to accentuate his ferocious look, his upper fangs bite his lower lip, his Indian-style chignon is topped with a skull. According to textual sources he doesn’t wear any jewellery but many sculptures include earrings and a necklace. The victim vomits a jewel and holds a large jewel in his right hand and a jewel-spitting mongoose in the other.

13th-14th century, Tibet, Black Jambhala, brass, photo here , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

A very rare example of him seated, his right leg pendant, the foot placed on a conch shell, the victim under him vomiting jewels and holding an elongated object (jewel?) in each hand. There is an effigy of a buddha, possibly Ratnasambhava, in his headdress and he wears a loin cloth, a rare feature which we have seen on a couple of early Tibetan works.

Undated, Tibet, Black Jambhala, stone, photo on Fondation Alain Bordier , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères (Switzerland).

On this stele, much worn by centuries of devotion, he is surrounded by flames and  crushes elephant-headed Ganapati. He is adorned with snakes and large earrings and also wears a loin cloth.

18th century, Tibet, Black Jambhala, stone, private collection, photo by Andrew Lau for Hollywood Galleries .

Here the victim vomits many small jewels, and so does the mongoose in his left hand. Jambhala is adorned exclusively with snakes, including one to tie his mitre-like flaming hair.

17th century, Tibet, Jambhala, bronze (copper alloy), private collection, photo on Drouot .

17th century (or earlier?), Tibet, Red Jambhala (labelled ‘Jambhala and Vajradhara), brass (with traces of cold gold, turquoise and coral), photo here , at the Tibet Museum in Gruyères.

This is a very rare sculpture of Red Jambhala in his 3-head, 6-hand and 4-leg form, without his consort, standing on two yakshas who vomit jewels. He holds a jewel-spitting mongoose in each of his lower hands, a skull cup filled with gems and a flaming jewel in his main hands, a hook and a lasso or snare (both missing) in his upper hands.

18th century, Tibet, White Jambhala, copper alloy, The Scanlan Collection

Portable sculptures of White Jambhala are usually late ones. He has one head with three eyes and flaming hair, 2 hands and 2 legs, and mounts a dragon or a snow lion, more rarely a mongoose. He may wield a sword in his right hand and hold a mongoose in the other as above (both attributes now lost) or brandish a stick or a trident in his right hand and a club adorned with jewels in the other.

Tibet, Yaksha Generals (4)

Unlabelled (circa 18th century, Tibet, yaksha general, gilt copper alloy), private collection, photo on HAR

One of the twelve yaksha or heavenly generals who are part of the medicine buddha’s retinue. All of them hold a mongoose in their left hand and another attribute in their right hand. They have a bare chest, wear a silk dhoti, a celestial scarf, a crown and princely jewellery.

Unlabelled (circa 18th century, Tibet or Sino-Tibetan, yaksha general, gilt copper alloy), photo on HAR

Very likely from the same workshop as an 18th century sculpture seen on Lempertz, this figure represents bsam’dzin, the only one who may hold a lasso in his right hand. His mongoose is disgorging large round jewels onto the seat.

18th century, Tibet (or Tibeto-Chinese?), Yaksha General, gilt copper (alloy), at the Art Institute of Chicago (USA).

On this Chinese-style work the cushions are incised with a large floral motif and he has curly eyebrows and a matching beard.

Tibet, a few animals (3)

15th century, Tibet or Tibeto-Chinese, gilt copper, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s, The Midas Touch, lot 19, London.

Various deities, such as Amoghasiddhi and Mahamayuri, may be seated on a peacock or have a peacock at the front of their throne (the above and also Amitabha/Amitayus). On occasions a peacock stands next to Sarasvati or Manjushri. Janguli wears a skirt made of peacock feathers and Mahamayuri has a peacock feather in one hand.

18th-19th century, Tibet, Lungta, gilt copper, private collection, photo on Woolley & Wallis .

Often depicted on Tibetan flags, the wind horse is a mythical creature, a carrier of good luck and a symbol of the space element and the inner air within the human body. It carries a jewel or a set of jewels surrounded with a flame on its back. The above stands inside a wheel atop a lotus.

16th century, Tibet, mongoose (labelled ‘feline with ball in its mouth’), gilt copper, private collection, photo by Tessier-Sarrou.

A mongoose, symbol of wealth, disgorging a large jewel (see the page on Animals and Mythical Creatures in the left margin of this blog). The link between this small animal and wealth deities may be due to the fact that its skin was used to make purses. It is also the attribute of arhat Bakula, Dorje Rabtenma and Karmadakini and one of the attributes Tsangpa Karpo may hold.

Tibet, Jambhala – various forms (5)

13th-14th century, Tibet?, Black Jambhala, copper alloy, private collection, photo on Ethereal

Black Jambhala always stands in a war-like pose, fierce, naked and ithyphallic (the auctioneers inform that this figure’s phallus is broken), treading on a single victim who may be Ganapati but is often a male figure holding a treasure. The above has an upright vajra sceptre in his hair.

13th-14th century, Tibet or Ladakh, Jambhala, bronze, private collection, photo on Nagel

He holds a skull cup or a pot of gems in his right hand, often before his heart, and a mongoose disgorging jewels in the other.

Circa 16th century, Tibet, Black Jambhala, copper alloy, Josette and Théo Schulmann collection, photo on  Gazette Drouot

The victim himself may be vomiting jewels.

17th-18th century, Tibet, Black Jambhala (labelled ‘Yellow Jambhala), bronze, private collection, photo on Drouot .

Only 5 cm tall, this figure was likely made for a portable shrine.

14th-15th century, Tibet, Jambhala, bronze with turquoise and coral inlay, private collection, photo by Nagel, sale 736 China 4 as before.

This is a singular image of wrathful Jambhala with a noose in his right hand. He stands on two victims and holds a mongoose in his left hand (not visible here).

16th century, Tibet (or later Chinese copy?), Rakta Jambhala, bronze, private collection?, photo on gg-art

Rakta (Red) Jambhala has three heads, six hands, in which he holds various implements, and four legs treading on two yakshas who vomit jewels. On this example he has a mongoose in each of his lower hands, a skull cup filled with gems and a triple gem in his middle hands, an elephant goad and a (missing) lasso or snare in the upper ones. There is a small pot of gems on the pedestal.

Yellow Jambhala with wheel

16th century, Tibet, Jambhala (labelled ‘Kubera’), gilt bronze, private collection, photo on Drouot .

One of a series of Nepalese-style images of peaceful Jambhala, a mongoose in his left hand and a citron in the other, seated at ease, youthful and pot-bellied, his eyes wide open, a row of thick curls arranged neatly on his forehead, adorned with princely jewellery and coiffed with a low tiara with two small gem-like components and a large central wheel of dharma. Unfortunately on all of them the base (and possibly the backplate) is missing.

Himalayan Region, Yellow Jambhala, photo on HAR  

He wears small hoops, a short necklace with three round pendants, matching armlets, bracelets and anklets, and has a sacred cord across his chest, either beaded or plain.

Unlabelled, Jambhala, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland), photo on HAR .

This one has no anklets and no wheel in his headdress but we may assume that he once did. Except for the distinctive tiara, all 3 are very similar to a brass figure of Jambhala seen in a previous post and reproduced below for comparison:

14th century, Nepal, Yellow Jambhala (labelled Kubera), brass, private collection, photo by Galerie Petillon.

Undated, Ming, Jambhala, copper alloy, private collection, photo by Golden State Auction Gallery.

This is a different version (presumably made in China), unusually ithyphallic, with no belly button, larger hoops, an oval face, long strands of hair over his shoulder and a long beaded necklace instead of a sacred cord.

18th century, Tibet, Jambhala, bronze, private collection, photo on Hardt Curiously, this late Chinese-style statue of an elderly Jambhala with a moustache and beard and a five-leaf crown includes a wheel on his topknot.

Tibet, Vaishravana retinue figures (2)

15th century, Tibet, Vaishravana retinue figures, gilt copper alloy with turquoise, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

These two figures riding a horse and holding a jewel-spitting mongoose in their left hand are part of Vaishravana’s retinue of eight horsemen. Like him, they have a yaksha appearance and may be dressed in kingly attire (early works) or in Mongolian armour and boots. The one on the left holds a (missing) spear or a lance, which corresponds to Atavaka. Next to him, Manibadhra holds a jewel in his right hand.

Unlabelled (16th-18th century, Tibet, Vaishravana retinue figure, stone and paint), private collection, photo on HAR

Bijakundalin is the one who turns his back to the viewer; he holds a sword in his right hand and may have a shield, as above. We saw a similar stone sculpture of another figure dated 16th century by the Rubin Museum of Art .