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Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Ritual Art of Nepal

Vajracarya Priest's Crown
Nepal, ca. 15th–16th century
Copper, gold, turquoise, semi-precious stones, silver foil
H. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm); W. 8 9/16 in. (21.7 cm); D. 9 1/16 in. (23 cm); Wt. 5 lb. 0.7 oz. (2287.8 g)

Rogers Fund, 1948
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 48.128

This crown's lavish use of mercury gilding conveys the appearance of a golden object, enhanced with generous settings of turquoise and rock crystal. It is surprising that all the appliqué elements, including the crowned Buddhas, were modeled from repoussé sheet metal, rather than having been cast. This is a tour de force of Newar metalworking.

John K. Scofield, c/o National Rifle Association of America, Washington, D.C. (until 1948; sold to MMA).

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