This unusual Buddha image has been cast from bronze. It is heavy for its size. The image sits in bhumispara mudra (‘calling the earth to witness’) on a high pedestal that has been etched with hands of floral motifs.
Decorating the base with floral scrollwork is a feature commonly scene among Lao Buddha images. See Parmentier (1988, p. 278) for an example.
The image wears a sanghati with a long sash that reaches to the waist.
The facial features are somewhat indigenous to Laos. The nose is triangular, as is the jawline, and the eyebrows are arched. The face has the almost hollow cheeks, elongation and arched eyebrows often associated with Lao Buddha images. The fingers are unusually long and spindly – another attribute commonly found among Lao Buddha images.
The cranial protuberance or usnisha is round and takes up a large proportion of the top of the head. It leads to a tall, spiky, flame-like cintamani. There is a casting fault to the front of the platform on which the Buddha sits. But otherwise, it is a fine example of the more naive rendering of such images made in Laos around the 17th century.
Giteau, M., Art et Archeologie du Laos, Picard, 2001.
Parmentier, H., L’Art du Laos, Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient, 1988.