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Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal

Vajracarya Priest's Crown
Nepal, ca. 14th century
Repoussé gilt copper with semiprecious stones
11 1/2 × 7 3/4 × 8 3/4 in. (29.2 × 19.7 × 22.2 cm)

Lent by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund, 84.41

Embellished with numerous, varied semiprecious stones, this example is perhaps the most ornate and best preserved of the known Vajracharya crowns. All the applied decor is repoussé gilt-copper sheet riveted to the crown; only the thunderbolt (vajra) finial, which surmounts all the crowns, was cast. Four Transcendent Buddhas occupy the cardinal positions around the lower section of crown, and the presence of the fifth, presiding Transcendent Buddha, Vairocana, is likely implied by the vajra finial. The curvature of the diadem band, richly inlaid with lapis lazuli, is particularly pronounced and gives an exceptional elegance to this crown.

Exhibition History
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal," December 16, 2017–December 16, 2018.