Tiara of Buddhist Officiant

Tiara of Buddhist Officiant

This piece of conical shape is adorned in its top half a lightning-diamond (vajra). Fragments of semi-precious stones remain of the ancient decoration and are always visible. All around the room, as on a mandala, jewels shelter Jina or Buddha “victorious”, in perpetual meditation and executing each the canonical gesture (mudra) of its own. They are drowned in a decor of plant motifs very provided and detailed. An inscription in Sanskrit on the band at the bottom shows a date corresponding to 1145.

This piece is made from a pure copper plate treated in repoussé and gilded with mercury. Some are cut into florets and pierced. Patches such as the lightning flash were melted with lost wax.

In Nepal, this type of tiara was worn by tantric masters during ceremonies. Its form is reminiscent of the buns worn by some supreme bodhisattva and the Buddhas to which the officiants identify themselves.

Nepalese art is mainly produced by a minority, the Newars, concentrated in the Kathmandu Valley. Inspired in their creations of the classicist aesthetics of the late Licchavi period (350-740), they had very skillful and creative goldsmiths. Their production was characterized inter alia by the use of semi-precious stones for decoration, for crowns and jewels. In the kingdom of Nepal, the artistic inspiration of foreign cultures was assimilated into local traditions. The Licchavis from northern India entered the country during the third century AD and settled with them an artistic tradition borrowing from India, but also Tibet, to finally achieve an original Nepalese art.



  • Title : Tiara of Buddhist Officiant
  • Year : Dated 1145
  • Classification : Cultural Objects
  • Medium : Golden copper and inlaid
  • Dimension : 27.2 x 21.5 centimeters
  • Accession No : MA 4929
  • Country/ Geo-location : Nepal
  • Collection : The Guimet Museum of Asian Art