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19th C. Thai Silvered Bronze Buddha Votive

Southeast Asia, Thailand, ca. 19th century CE. A cast bronze votive figure of a seated Buddha. The Buddha sits on a tall, openwork throne, with cross-hatched and striated lines on its exterior surface giving the impression of lush fabric and cushions. The Buddha figure itself (not the throne) has been filled with lead to give it weight; the bronze exterior is brightly silvered. Buddha has a classically Thai face from this period, broad, with eyes downcast or closed and a wide mouth. His brows are clearly delineated and he has a strong hairline. A tall, tiered, conical ushnisha, signifying his enlightened status, rises from his head. Size: 2.5" L x 4.95" W x 6.95" H (6.4 cm x 12.6 cm x 17.7 cm)

This Buddha is depicted in the Bhumisparsha mudra, with his right hand over the right knee reaching towards the ground and the palm inward and touching the lotus throne. His left hand lies in his lap with the palm upright. This mudra represents the moment of his awakening, as he defeated the demon Mara, and claimed the earth as his witness to his enlightenment. This Buddha figure stands out because of its rare silvered surface.

Condition: Much of the silvering remains. Bending to openwork base, but the figure still stands easily on its own.

Provenance: private S.S. collection, Los Angeles, California, USA

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