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Jambhala, late 13th century

Tibet (?), 1275-1299
Brass and gilt copper with semiprecious stones and pigment
8-1/4 x 6 x 5 in. (21 x 15.2 x 12.7 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Jambhala is the Buddhist god of wealth. Befitting his exalted position, he is richly adorned with a profusion of jewelry, and is rather rotund. His bulging eyes suggest that he is guarding his treasures and he squeezes the neck of a mongoose with his left hand, who spits forth a stream of gems. He sits in a relaxed posture upon a lotus pedestal and is draped with a garland of blue lotuses. In the Tibetan pantheon, Jambhala is also regarded as a guardian of the Buddhist faith.

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