6629

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Parcel-Gilt, Solid-Silver Buddha

Laos or northern Thailand
circa 18th century

height: 6.2cm, weight: 118g

Sold

Provenance

UK art market

This small image shows the Buddha seated in the ‘calling the earth to witness’ position (Bhumisparshamudra) on a raised, triangular platform.

It is of solid cast silver alloy with gilded (gold-plated) usnisha (cranial protuberance) and chest sash.

Solid cast silver Buddha images are relatively rare in Southeast Asia.

Such images were commissioned by worshippers and given to monasteries and significant Thai temples (wats) as acts of merit. No contemporary images of the Buddha have survived but the rendering of the Buddha, an essentially spiritual being, as a visible manifestation, provides a tool for worshippers thereby making the abstract concrete (Bromberg, 2019, p. 171).

The example here is in fine condition and with obvious age.

References

Bromberg, P., Thai Silver and Nielloware, River Books, 2019.

Naengnoi Punjabhan, Silverware in Thailand, Rerngrom Publishing, 1991.

Warren, W., The Prasart Museum: Treasures of Thailand, Ibis Books, 1990.

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