This remarkable bronze figure of Padmapani displays a number of distinct stylistic criteria that offer various attributions. In the slender outline and linear treatment of the dhoti it strongly relates to a Kashmiri bronze of Bodhisattva Maitreya, dated to the 7th/8th Century, sold at Christie's New York, 17 September 1998, lot 24, illustrated in U. von Schroeder, Indo-Tibetan Bronzes, pl. 9E, with the silver-inlaid eyes also being characteristic of Kashmiri bronzes. In the facial features, however, it is more closely related to another bronze figure of Maitreya, from the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, attributed to the Swat Valley region, see P. Pal, Bronzes of Kashmir, cat. no. 38; compare also to a bronze figure of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Padmapani), cf. P. Pal, The Ideal Image, The Gupta Sculptural Tradition and Its Influence, 1978, cat. no. 70. Pal discusses the paleographical peculiarities of the inscription in cursive Brahmi script giving the donor's name to be Vatravijaya. Taking the stylistic criteria of the inscription into account and by relating the modeling of the body, the treatment of the lotus, as well as the pleats of the dhoti to fifth century Gupta models from the Sarnath area, a sixth century date and a regional attribution to the Swat Valley appears most likely.
The elaborate hairstyle with braid-like rows of hair as well as the stippling of the stem of the lotus appear to be specific features of a group of Sirpur bronzes that in their mature style are generally dated to circa 800. D.E. Klimburg-Salter, The Silk Route, p. 98, stylistically relates this figure to sculptures from Fondukistan and Pandrethan dating from the first quarter of the eighth century, all having a common Indian or Chinese Central Asian source, indicative of an exchange between northwestern India, the Himalayas, and Chinese Central Asia during the seventh and eighth centuries. Most recently, C. Reedy concludes a regional attribution to Afghanistan while adhering to the sixth century date, based on technological examinations and with regard to an international style in a region of crossroads, see Himalayan Bronzes, p. 138.