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Antique Siam Lacquered Gilt Bronze
Ayutthaya Buddha
Meditation Posture
Thailand, circa: 18th century
H 7 in.(18cm.), W 4.5 in.(11.5cm.), D 2.75 in.(7cm.)

Condition: gilt loss, small break in Ushnisha

A classically rendered Aytthaya Buddha, this work is exceptional in its artistry, technique and attention to detail. The lacquer is rich and layered, providing a superior ground for gilding, which is why this piece, despite its age, has retained most of its gold. Where the gold has become effaced, the lacquer is dark, thick and glossy. The contrast of the gold and the black lacquer is part of the unique beauty of this statue, with black dots shining like jet on the jeweled ornaments. Several of the tiny glass roundels that were affixed are still present, as is some colored paste used for mounting them. The Buddha Shakyamuni is referred to as the Lion of the Shakya clan; therefore a lion is pictured on the front of the throne, accentuated in black on gold. With its dramatic appearance and its refinement and poise this is a powerful and resplendent work.

 

With the right hand in Bhumisparsha mudra, also known as “calling the earth to witness” and the left hand held flat in the lap in dhyana mudra of meditation, the Buddha symbolizes the union of method and wisdom, samasara and nirvana, and the realization of the conventional and ultimate truths. --RW

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