This solidly cast bronze has an impressive presence through its clarity of form paired with some bejeweled accents, directing the viewer's gaze towards the expression of meditation. The type of tripartite crown closely follows Pala period prototypes from Northeastern India. While the meditation aspect is more commonly associated with images of Amitabha or Amitayus, the necklace with a pendant of three claws appears to be distinctive to an aspect of Manjushri, specifically Dharmasankha-samadhi Manjushri; for further discussion, see U. von Schroeder, Buddhist Sculpture in Tibet, vol. II, 2001, figs. 219A-E, and p. 936. Von Schroeder describes the important activity and influence of Newar artisans in Tibet from the 11th century onward and discusses related bronzes produced by Nepalese schools in Tibet.
This sculpture was one of a handful that sat on Mr. Ellsworth’s headboard and illustrates the close relationship between Indian and Himalayan bronzes, specifically how the former greatly influenced the latter.