A rare sculpture of the legendary king Ge-Sar of Ling. Depicted as a warrior on a horseback, he holds a bow and a quiver in his right hand, a staff with a banner in the other. (See about the epic of King Gesar here ).
One of the three great ‘dharma kings’ (thus named because they actively contributed to establishing Buddhism in Tibet), Songtsen Gampo is easily identified through the effigy of Amitabha on top of the turban usually worn by earlyTibetan kings. Adorned with princely jewellery and a five-leaf crown, his feet covered with thick felt boots, he holds a flaming wheel in his left hand and the stem of a lotus in the other, which makes the gesture of debate. We saw another two late works depicting a Tibetan king with one side only of his overgarment flowing upwards.
Trisong Detsen holds a dharma wheel in his left hand and the stem of a lotus topped with the hilt of a sword.
It is the first time we come across a sculpture of king Ralpachen, identified by his beard and the vajra sceptre on the lotus in his right hand, as specified by Sotheby’s. Like the other two, he has a dharma wheel in his left hand.
This personage seated on a throne supported by snow lions and decorated with lotus buds at the corners wears the garments and headdress of a Tibetan king, and is classified as such on Himalayan Art Resources. Yet, according to Christie’s, an inscription on the reverse of the base identifies him as Kalyanasri or Kushalasri ‘the splendid Dharma king of the holy Buddhist country (India)’. Kalyana Shri was king of Bengal and the father of Atisha; dge.ba’i.dpal is his name in Tibetan. His hands are held before his chest as if to hold a wish-granting gem.