Finely cast seated in dhyanasana with hands in bhumisparsa mudra, dressed in loose robes spreading around the body and thrown over one shoulder to leave the chest bare, the robes finely inlaid in silver and copper with borders of wan diaper against a complex ground of scrolling flowers with large leaves, the flowerheads further inlaid in copper with radiating petals, the face with slender bowed eyes, sharp nose and bud mouth, with a stud urna below further studded registers of hair rising to the ushnisha terminating in a lotus-bud finial, the features painted in red and white against a ground of gold pigment\nThe present figure appears to be a member of a series of the Five Transcendental Buddhas, with the 'earth-witnessing' mudra identifying the figure as Akshobya, (lit. 'Unshakeable One' or 'Imperturbable'), the tathagata manifestation of Sakyamuni during his calling of the earth to witness during the Assault of Mara. Various series of the Five Transcendental Buddhas were commissioned by the Qing emperors, in particular the emperors Kangxi and Qianlong, for various major Tibetan Buddhist temples in their Summer and Winter Palaces.\nSculpture from Nepal and India was held in the highest esteem by the Gelukpa order of Tibetan Lamaism at the court of the Qianlong emperor. The temples of the Forbidden City have collections of bronzes from eastern India, the greater Kashmir area and Nepal, revered medieval period icons from the motherlands of Buddhism. These sculptures were held in such reverence that copies were made and their styles were imitated to decorate the numerous temples and palaces of the Qianlong emperor, a keen follower and adept of the Tibetan religion.\nCopper and silver inlaid into bronze was a common sculptural preference in medieval eastern India and it is this style that has influenced the choices of the sculptor of this Buddha image. Compare another eighteenth century silver- and copper-inlaid Buddhist bronze, with painted face, preserved in the former Imperial palaces of the Forbidden City, see Cultural Relics of Tibetan Buddhism Collected in the Ching Palace, Beijing, 1992, pl. 60. The painting of the face of the sculpture, a Tibetan ritual practice to enliven the image, may be compared with a bronze Buddha in the main hall on the first floor of the 'Pavilion of Raining Flowers' in the Forbidden City, see ibid, pl. 103. Figures such as the present lot\nare extremely rare outside of China, and no others of this specific form appear to have been published in the West.