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16th C. Thai Lanna Near-Miniature Bronze Buddha

Southeast Asia, Northern Thailand, Lanna, ca. 16th century CE. A near miniature Thai bronze cast Lanna style Buddha, seated in half lotus position, with hands in the Bhumisparsa or Subduing Mara / Earth Witness mudra, atop an oval shaped straight sided throne. The Lanna and Chiang Saen style was used between the 11th and 18th centuries CE. Its influences include the Khmer, Sukhothai, India, Burma, and Sri Lanka. Buddha images of the later Lanna period show the influence of the Sukhotai with finer hair curls, a flame shaped finial, and a thin hair band. The visage by this point became more oval shaped, and the mantle oftentimes extended down to the navel. Most depictions of the seated Buddha display the Bhumisparsa mudra as we also see in this example. A lovely Lanna style Buddha with beautiful green and brown patina! Size: 5-3/4" x 3-1/4" x 2" (14.6 x 8.3 x 5.1 cm)

In the calling the earth to witness Mudra, the Buddha's left hand rests on his lap with palm upright and his right hand touches the earth. This Mudra symbolizes the moment of Buddha's enlightenment. According to legend, Siddhartha Gautama (the historical Buddha) was attacked by a demon Mara with legions of frightful monsters. They intended to scare Siddhartha away from the sacred Bodhi tree. However, Siddhartha would not move. Mara then dared to claim Siddhartha's seat of enlightenment for himself, claiming that his spiritual deeds were more significant than Siddhartha's. Mara's monsters cried out, "I am his witness!" and Mara looked at Siddhartha and challenged, "Who will speak for you?" Siddhartha's replied without words. Instead he reached out his right hand to touch the earth, and the earth boldly pronounced, "I bear you witness!"

Condition: Chip to back of throne. Stable crack to chest, back, and left shoulder area. Gorgeous deep green and brown patina.

Provenance: Ex-private Northern Colorado collection; ex-private Vancouver, British Columbia collection.

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