This fine example of Licchavi-style sculpture in Nepal depicts the bodhisattva Ratnapani, identifiable by the triratna or triple jewels atop the lotus stalk at the left shoulder. Cast in lustrous copper, the figure is defined by flowing lines and soft features, and exemplifies the elegance of form of post-Gupta sculpture. Traces of blue polychrome extant on the hair suggest that this bronze was later absorbed into a Tibetan collection.
Compare the elegantly coiled jata or plaits; the earrings and necklace with foliate and teardrop motif; and the foliate girdle of the present lot with a contemporaneous Licchavi-style bronze figure of the bodhisattva Ratnapani, currently on view at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California (acc. no. F.1972.45.13.S).
Compare, also, the ornamentation of the tripartite crown and the necklace adorned with triple-teardrop motif of the present lot with a slightly earlier ninth-tenth century Licchavi-period bronze depicting the bodhisattva Manjushri from the Nyingjei Lam collection, illustrated by D. Weldon and J.C. Singer in The Sculptural Heritage of Tibet: Buddhist Art in the Nyingjei Lam Collection, London, 1999, pp.88-9, pl.11.