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Southeast Asia, Thailand, ca. 16th to 17th century CE. Near monumental in scale, this head of Buddha of the Thai Ayuthia period was expertly carved from gray sandstone. His face displays an expression of the utmost serenity with downcast eyes below gracefully arched eyebrows, a noble nose, and gently smiling lips, clearly a visage that could inspire hours peaceful meditation. The head of the Buddha is perhaps the most significant element of the deity as it represents the immense body of knowledge and wisdom of Buddha along with the tranquil nature that emanates from its expression. Oversized as we see in this example with a large Ushnisha, the cranial lump on the head, the Buddha's head symbolizes the wisdom and knowledge acquired after attaining enlightenment. Furthermore, the curled, short hair of the Buddha signifies the nobility of Buddha. Beyond the multi-layered meaning embodied in the iconography of this piece, the technique executed to create the meticulously carved coiffure and ushnisha comprised of countless neat curls and the absolute smoothness of the contours of that face is paramount, and the artistry is simply remarkable! A rare and sublime piece of history that has survived many centuries! Custom wood block base. Size: head itself measures 15" x 8" x 11" (38 x 20.3 x 27.9 cm); 21" high on base
Condition: Losses to ushnisha, rashmi, and ears. Chips, abrasions, and scratches in stone surfaces consistent with age.
Provenance: Ex-private Northern Colorado collection.
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