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Later Tibetan Gallery



Lama with both hands in his lap.
Tibet. 17-18th Century.
Bronze and gilding

This lama’s identity is unknown but from the tiny inscription on the reverse of the base it is known that he formed part of a series, being as the inscribed number says, is number 10. From that we may suggest that he belongs to an eminent lineage and that from his facial features and position within a series of images of masters, that his identity would have been well known to Tibetan educated viewers of those images.
However I am unable to be quite so specific.

Of interest apart from the wonderful aesthetic of the robes, flowing naturally and lightly chased, is the seating cushion itself. He is seated directly on a felt pile, a quite common base for lamas, but protruding from underneath his robes and between himself and the cushion are what appear to be stylized leaves. These also appear at the rear of the base too. In terms of what may be suggested about the image this is one of the symbolic ways of depicting a subject’s status as a meditator, traditionally in India in the forest and in Tibet in caves and isolated spots. However the symbol still remains for much the same practice, despite whichever country is the images origin. So it might well be that this particular lama was renowned as much for his isolation and meditations as for any other aspect of his life.

Height 10.2cm

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