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Pratapaditya Pal: Roshan Sabavala’s Tryst with Himalayan Art

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Lot 109: A Ga'u Containing a Figure of Vajradhara
Silver and copper; gilt-bronze with applied pigment, inlaid with semi-precious stones
19th Century; 14th Century
Ga'u height 6 ¼ in. (15.8 cm.) and smaller (2)

The pentagonal ogival box with elaborate repousse work depicting the eight auspicious signs amongst dense flowers. The open window is flanked by two dragons and a kirtimukha stands guard below.

The shrine houses a seated figure of Vajradhara seated in dhyanasana with his arms crossed at his chest holding the vajra and ghanta, clad in a dhoti that is secured at his waist with a belt. He is adorned with armlets and necklaces inset with stones, long pendant earrings and bracelets. The face has a serene expression, the hair pulled back in a high chignon and secured with a tiara. Remains of polychrome are visible.

The figure fits perfectly into the box so that the face is visible through the central window opening.