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    Laos Cast Bronze Seated Buddha

    circa 15th century

    height: 37cm, width: 22.5cm, depth: 14cm



    private collection, UK. The previous owner built up a collection of Buddha images mostly from old UK colonial sources, and did so over a long lifetime.

    This unusual Buddha is most notable for its unusual styling with a petalled waist sash and the tall cintamani.

    The form of this Buddha relates to cast bronze seated Khmer Buddha images of the twelfth century. It is seated in bhumispara mudra (‘calling the earth to witness’).

    The facial features are somewhat indigenous to Laos. The nose is triangular, as is the jawline, the eyebrows are arched and the eyes recessed.

    The image wears a sanghati with a long sash that reaches to the waist where there is an unusual waist band of half-petals.

    The cranial protuberance or usnisha is tiered and unusually leads to a cintamani that is shaped like an emerging bamboo shoot. Giteau (2001, p. 166) refers to an ‘ancient’ image in the royal collection Luang Prabang with a similar cintamani.

    The image has a rich, dark patina. There is a small area of loss to the lower edge of the left knee. There is no base. It is not clear that there was one. Overall, it is a very pleasing and unusual Buddha form with a great deal of obvious age.


    Giteau, M., Art et Archeologie du Laos, Picard, 2001.

    Heywood, D., Ancient Luang Prabang & Laos, River Books, 2014.

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