16 x 11 1/2 in. (40.6 x 29 cm.)
A Newari master most likely cast this rare and commanding sculpture while working under the patronage of a leading monastery in Central Tibet, possibly Shalu. This figure likely represents the Maitreya, but it could possibly be a depiction of Manjushri. Richly gilded and adorned with semi-precious stones, the treatment of the adornments, prominent chin, tresses across the shoulders, and modeling of the body are all consistent with the rendering of the Five Tathagatas in the South Chapel of Shalu monastery, painted in the second quarter of the 14th century.
Compare with a Manjughosa held in the Shalu monastery, published in von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet, 2001, pp.959, no.229C. Also see a 14th century Vajradhara in the Jokhang in Lhasa, (ibid., p.962, no.231E), and a closely related figure in scale and detail sold at Sotheby’s, New York, 23 March 2007, lot 55.