Maitreya Buddha governs two perfected worlds: Tushita Heaven, which he currently inhabits, and Ketumati, an ideal realm conducive to the pursuit of enlightenment where he will serve as the teaching Buddha. Compare the present figure with a gilt-bronze figure of Maitreya with similar treatment of the drapery and hair, illustrated in Zhongguo liu shi hai wai fo jiao zao xiang zong he tu mu (Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue of Chinese Buddhist Statues in Overseas Collections), vol. 4, Beijing, 2005, p. 887, where it is dated Tang dynasty.
The present figure has a small, attached wax seal bearing an inscription in Tibetan seal-script. Tibetan lamas (teachers) and dignitaries often collected ancient Buddhist sculpture, paintings, and ritual items, and would sometimes affix their personal seal as a ‘collection stamp’.