Seated Tibetan Lama with Long-Life Vase

SKU CB.3418

Very Fine


1800 AD to 1900 AD


8″ (20.3cm) high


Gilt Bronze



Gallery Location



Here we have a charming Tibetan lama (“chief” or “high priest”) seated in Dhyana asana holding a long-life vase in his upturned left hand. The trailing Chinese-style beard and fan-like hat are typical of the Tibetan lama in Kagyu tradition, which was popularized by Gampopa Sonam Rinchen – the founder of the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. Shown with a three-wrinkle brow and near-closed eyes, the lama commands respect. The lama is clothed in monastic wrappings which cover his shoulders, but leave his chest and right arm uncovered. The noble garments are plain and solid in background color, however, ornate whorl patterns adorn the ribbings of his monastic robes, suggesting his authoritative status as a chief and teacher. The garment folds bundle on the lotus heart base, which is nearly touched by the lama’s exposed right hand, perhaps suggesting a degree of groundedness to this high priest. This piece is comparable with the 18th century seated lama in the collection of the British Museum. Magnus Allan

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