About this object

Copper gilt statue of Ushnishavijaya or Jetsün Drölma. Figure seated on a double lotus pedestal in yogic or meditational pose. Both her hands are held above her lap holding a vase which contains the nectar of long life, out of which grows a flowering Ashoka twig. The vase has traces of green pigment, possibly an enamel. There is blue pigment to the ear ornaments and heavy blue pigment to the hair, which is separated into two pigtails at the back. There is additional red pigment to back of crown. She wears the five-jewelled crown and ornaments of the bodhisattva.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]
  • Date made
    11th Century
  • Materials
    Copper Alloy; Metal Gilt; Gold; Silver; Pigment
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Berkshire: Crowthorne
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    145 mm x 90 mm x 55 mm; 5 11/16 in x 3 9/16 in x 2 3/16 in
  • Note
    List of Curios No 288: Per Do-nam-pa Wangyal. Image of Jetsün Drölma given me by Do-nam-pa Wangyal on 29th July 1937 at Edgcumbe. He tells me as follows: This image is many hundreds of years old. It was made in India, not in Tibet, and was brought to Tibet in the old days when many Indian Buddhist priests came there. It was given to me by a friend of mine in the Dre-pung monastery. His ge-gen (spiritual teacher) having died, he has inherited the ge-gen's property and he has given this image to me. When a ge-gen dies, he is succeeded by his oldest disciple (ge-truk), who becomes ge-gen, and inherits the bulk of the former ge-gen's property. This image has been passed down from one ge-gen at Dre-pung to the next through numerous generations. It is not simple copper, but has gold, silver etc, mixed in to in the dze-kyi-ma process. Curator's note: The giver of this figure was Ngawang (or Geshe) Wangyal who accompanied Bell as translator on his trip to Manchuria, Mongolia and China. Geshe Wangyal established the Tibetan Buddhism teaching programme at Columbia University, USA. He travelled to the UK in 1937 to stay with the explorer Marco Pallis, visiting Bell during this trip. Written by Emma Martin
  • Related people
    Charles Alfred Bell ( Collector); Ngawang Wangyal ( gifted by, previous owner)

Explore related


  • List of Curios

    Bell, Charles Alfred

    Author: Bell, Charles Alfred
    Description: A typed object catalogue from Bell's handwritten notes on a wide variety of objects from his personal collection. This information often contains, the date he obtained an object, its provenance (including where and who he acquired from) and the person responsible for giving him the information. The process of writing the inventory began in December 1912 and continued until the late 1930s.


Previous owners

  • Ngawang Wangyal

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1937-07-29
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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