Samvara, whose name means "Supreme Bliss" is one of the more important tutelary or patron deities (yidam) of Tibetan Buddhism. Samvara and his consort placed in union symbolize Wisdom and Compassion. The Bliss is the fruit of tantric mediation.
Stylistically the present figure seems to be related to sculptures from the Tibetan Densatil monastery, founded in the twelfth century. The complex was destroyed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the mid-sixties to mid-seventies of the last century. Since then many gilt-bronzes have found their way to the West. Most of them seem to date from the late fourteenth century.
During this time Tibetan patronage of Newar artists was at its peak. Actually the artists were even working on Buddhist projects as far afield as the Imperial Court of China.
The superb color of the almost perfectly preserved gilding, enhanced by the perfectly complimentary and exquisitely inset jewels are indications of the Newari aesthetic and craftsmanship which makes the sculpture a masterpiece in its genre.
For a related but slightly larger gilt-bronze figure of Samvara and his consort compare Christie's Amsterdam, 26 April 1993, Lot 118; Another stylisticly related gilt-bronze example of Buddhakapala and Citrasena was sold in these Rooms, 11 June 2008, Lot 195.