This dynamic representation of the Newari Buddhist deity, Vighnantaka, is distinguished by the small inscription at the back of the base, which provides a Nepal samvat date of 417, corresponding to 1297. According to Ian Alsop, as elucidated in "Five Dated Nepalese Sculptures," Artibus Asiae, vol. XLV, 2/3, 1984, this is perhaps the only known inscribed Nepalese gilt-bronze from the thirteenth century.
Vighnantaka, the remover of obstacles, tramples on the Hindu god, Ganesha, who is regarded within the Hindu tradition as the remover of obstacles himself; however, the unusual icongraphy of the present figure derives from a Newari legend where Vighnantaka subdues Ganesha after the god was angered by an acharya who forgot to offer sacrifices to the god.
Alsop notes that the present figure is rare in that it follows exactly the iconographic descriptions of the deity from the sadhana of the Nispannayogavali, from the late eleventh-early twelfth century. Other representations of the deity have mistakenly placed a skull bowl and curved knife in the primary hands, an apparent conflation with the deity, Mahakala, who fulfilled a similar religious function.
The inscription on the reverse of the base, translated from Newari, reads:
"On the full moon of the bright half of Jyestha, in the year 417, on a Thursday. May it be good."