4589

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Gilded Bronze Buddha

Burma
circa 14th-15th century or earlier

height: 14.4cm, width: 11.2cm, depth: 6.7cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

private collection, UK. Acquired in the UK not less than 40 years ago by the previous owner. The previous owner built up a fine collection of Buddha images mostly from old UK colonial sources, and did so over a long lifetime.

This small, finely-cast, gilded image shows the Buddha seated in sattvasana on an oval, double lotus throne. The right hand is in bhumisparsa mudra, and the left is in dhyana mudra. A sanghati (robe) is draped over the left shoulder. The face has a downcast, meditative expression. The hair is in tight curls and there is a low usnisha with a cintamani finial.

Somkiart Lopetcharat (2007, p. 109-111) illustrates several related Buddhas which also have been gilded and attributed to the 14th-15th century. However,

Pal (1997, p. 113) attributes a seated Buddha of similar proportions and form to 11th century Burma. The image does have traits characteristic of the Pagan period.

It is likely that such an image, of relatively small size, would have been made to be inserted in a niche in the masonry of a building as a protective device.

The image is in fine condition and without repairs. There is much, expected, wear to the gilding. The surface has a varied, degraded surface consistent with significant age.

Overall, this is a fine, early Buddha from Burma, rarely encountered now.

References

Pal, P., A Collecting Odyssey: Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art from the James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection,The Art Institute of Chicago/Thames & Hudson, 1997.

Somkiart Lopetcharat, Myanmar Buddha: The Image and its History, Siam International Books Company, 2007.

 

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