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19th C. Burmese Gilded Bronze Mandalay Buddha

Southeast Asia, Myanmar / Burma, ca. 1850 CE. A beautiful bronze Burmese Mandalay Buddha seated in the full lotus position, with hands in the Bhumisparsa mudra, embellished with an inlaid mirror and green glass crown band at the hair line, a red lacquered gold leaf bronze surface, and inlaid naturalistic eyes. The Buddha sits peacefully atop a flat throne, this form also characteristic of the Mandalayan style. In Burma (modern Myanmar) Mandalay is regarded as the center of Buddhism and consequently art flourished in this region and it became known as the center of pure art of Myanmar. The artists employed advanced techniques to create a sophisticated style. This example possesses characteristic traits of the Mandalay Buddha with its oval shaped face, flat temples, human-like facial features (ie those inlaid eyes, fleshy nose, and smiling lips), elongated ears that extend all the way to the shoulders symbolizing Buddha's all-hearing powers and wisdom, slender body, lacquered finish painted with the red pigment known as Chad, gilding, and inlaid glass as we see in the hairband. Mandalay artists appreciated realism, particularly when depicting the facial featurs and manner in which the many folds of the robe cascade from the left shoulder over the body. A superb example! Size: 17-1/2" x 14" x 9" (44.5 x 35.6 x 22.9 cm) not including custom stand. IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to size, crating will be required. Please inquire about shipping.

The Buddha displays the Calling Earth to Witness mudra, also known as Subduing Mara or Bhumisparsa representing the moment just prior to enlightenment, with the Buddha sitting in meditation, his left hand in his lap with palm upright, and his right hand palm downward touching the earth. At the moment just before Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment, the demon Mara viciously attacked him with his troops of monsters attempting to scare him away from his seat under the bodhi tree. However, the Buddha to be remained. Mara claimed that his spiritual deeds were greater than Siddhartha's challenging the Buddha to be. Then Siddhartha extended his right hand to touch the earth, Mara disappeared, and Siddhartha achieved enlightenment.

Condition: Expected wear to gold leaf, chips and abrasions to lacquered surface. Otherwise intact and near choice.

Provenance: Ex-private Northern Colorado collection.

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