Vajrapani Togchags

12th century, Tibet, Vajrapani, brass (copper alloy), at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (USA).

Vajrapani brandishes a vajra sceptre in his right hand and holds a bell in the other, placed against his hip. He is adorned with snakes and wears a tiger-skin loin cloth. it is not clear what protrudes on each side of him.

12th century, Tibet, Vajrapani togchags, private collection, photo by Sotheby’s.

This interesting collection features two togchags which are almost identical (top and bottom left of photo) and very similar to the previous item except for the absence of a securing rod below him. The top middle figure is a classic version of 13th century circa brass Vajrapani sculptures with a muscly body, his right leg bent, wearing snake anklets, bracelets, necklace and sacred thread, the head of the tiger skin resting over his raised knee. The lower middle figure is in fact Achala, whom we have seen in a previous post. On the top right togchag the bell is clearly visible against his left thigh. The bottom right amulet is a rare portrait of Vajrapani with a bird, possibly a peacock.