Bronze statuette of a Bodhisattva Ushnishavijaya, created using lost wax casting and gilded with gold leaf. The gold was extracted directly from the major goldmines of the Tibetan Plateau which have been in use since the Middle Ages. The statuette has three faces and eight arms. Each hand displays a different mudra. In Buddhist iconography the gestures of the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas are codified and known as ‘mudras’, each one being charged with mystical significance. The female figure depicted is young, graceful and bedecked with jewellery. Excellent state of preservation.
Ushnishavijaya is one of the three divinities associated with long life in the Tibetan pantheon, along with Alitayus and White Tara. She is an emanation of the Vairocana Buddha. Popular wisdom often refers to her as the ‘mother of all Buddhas. Like all divinities, she is shown on a base shaped like a lotus flower. She owes her name to the ushnisha, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘diadem’. In Buddhism, this is one of the 32 marks of the Enlightened. In Buddhist art, this cranial protuberance is the principal characteristic of representations of the Buddha.