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Stone Amitabhala  Shrine

Chinese Polychrome Stone Buddha Statue
Amitabha
Seated in Meditation
Ming Dynasty, circa: 15th century
H 13.7 in.(34cm), W 7.5 in.(19cm), D 3.5 in.(9cm)
Condition: very good

Six-hundred year old Amitabha Buddha, gilded with gold. A small but highly spirited statue sculpted during the early years of the Ming Dynasty, its simplicity of form beguiling in the sense that its lack of ornamentation adds to its spiritual complexity. Three primary colors still cling to the stone: a jade green, a pinkish red, and an aqua blue. Two disciples, possibly Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, kneel at the sides of a single blue lotus. Amitabha himself is covered in a red robe, his face, chest, and feet gilded with genuine gold leaf, though more than half of the gold has been flaked off in its long history. There is pock mark on his forehead, a possible resting place for a jeweled third eye, long since missing.

The quality of the carving itself is simple and immaculate, from the concentric folds of the deity’s robe, uniformly proportioned levels of the base and plinth, and in particular, the facial features of Amitabha; his nose and mouth crafted with subtle, curving depths. A look of serenity and openness distinguishes his face. The painted stone is curiously smoothed, feeling much like high quality marble, though the chips in its surface reveal a rough, schist like stone underneath its attractive tan coat. The creator of this piece likely used a mixture of lead and pigment to create this coating. Superficially, the piece is in very good condition, though its otherworldly qualities remain untouched.

Sold to Private Collection

  
  
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Stone Amitabhala  Shrine
  
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