Queen Dipa Malla

Historical period(s)
14th century
Gilt copper
H x W x D: 20.3 x 17 x 17 cm (8 x 6 11/16 x 6 11/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Metalwork, Sculpture


Buddhism, mudra, Nepal, portrait, queen

14th century
Commissioned by the circle of Queen Dipa Malla of Western Nepal and Western Tibet

From at least 1967 to 1968
Doris Wiener, New York, New York or Walter Randall [1]

From 1968 to 1986
Paul E. Manheim (1906-1999), New York, New York, purchased from either Doris Wiener or Walter Randall [2]

Peter Marks Works of Art, New York, New York, purchased from Paul E. Manheim [3]

From 1986
Freer Gallery of Art, purchased from Peter Marks Works of Art


[1] In 1967 the Brooklyn Museum of Art received the sculpture on loan. The museum’s paperwork lists both Doris Wiener and Walter Randall as lenders at different times. After the sculpture’s arrival in 1967 at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Paul Manheim purchased it from one of these dealers. Paul Manheim kept the object on long term loan at the Brooklyn Museum of Art of art until 1986. At which time Paul Manheim sold it to Peter Marks Works of Art, who subsequently sold it to the Freer Gallery of Art. See correspondence from the Brooklyn Museum of Art, copies in the object file, Collections Management Office.

[2] Loan documentation at the Brooklyn Museum of Art indicates that Paul Manheim was the designated lender of the sculpture from at least as of May 1968.

[3] See invoice from Peters Marks Works of Art, object file, Collections Management Office.

Updated on June 8, 2020

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Doris Wiener Gallery
Walter Randall
Paul E. Manheim 1906-1999
Peter Marks Works of Art, Inc. active 1960-2002


Buddhism entered Nepal from India in the fourth century B.C.E, and remains an active religion there today. An inscription on the base of this devotional image suggests that the Nepali queen Dipamala is represented as the goddess Prajnaparamita.

This goddess personifies the scripture called the Perfection of Knowledge, an important and popular Mahayana (Great Way) Buddhist text.

Published References
  • Ian Alsop. The Metal Sculpture of the Khasa Mallas of West Nepal/West Tibet., August 26, 2005. .
  • Pratapaditya Pal. The Art of Tibet. New York and Greenwich, Connecticut. cat. 61.
  • Ian Alsop. Metal Sculpture of the Khana Malla Kingdom of West Nepal/West Tibet. vol. 25, no. 6 Hong Kong, June 1994. .
  • Pratapaditya Pal. Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure. Exh. cat. Chicago. p. 22, fig. 2.
  • Amy Heller. Hidden Treasures of the Himalayas: Tibetan Manuscripts, Paintings and Sculptures of Dolplo. Chicago. pp. 217-218, fig. 162.
  • Ulrich von Schroeder. Indo-Tibetan Bronzes. Hong Kong. cat. 90b, p. 348.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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