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Copper Alloy Medicine Buddha Statue Southeast Asia

Documentation Signed
Origin Thailand
Period 19th Century
Materials Copper Alloy
W. 9.5 in; H. 18 in; D. 7 in;
W. 24.13 cm; H. 45.72 cm; D. 17.78 cm;
Condition Good. Surface patina, small dings on top of the hair knot and also above the head, small split on the back of the medicine bowl, cast flaws below the left hand, clay core still present. Potential base cover missing. All shown in detail photos.
Creation Date late 19th to early 20th century
Description A statue of Medicine Buddha on double lotus throne cast in copper alloy in lost wax technique. Medicine Buddha is also known as Bhaisajyaguru, the Buddha of medical healing prowess highly revered in Mahayana Buddhism. He is often depicted in sitting in the "adamantine posture" (lotus position) with his left hand holding a medicine bowl, while his right hand in the Bhumisparsa mudra (Touching the earth). Interestingly, this particular statue displays features that is characteristic of the iconography of Southeast Asia, although Medicine Buddha is not as commonly worshiped in the Theravada Buddhism. The facial expression appears slightly more Southeast Asian than Chinese or Sino-Tibetan; The band around the forehead under the hairline is typical of the style of U Thong Buddhism art flourished in Central Thailand between the 12-15th century A.D, instead of Chinese or Tibetan. The two loops flanking the lotus base are also more commonly seen in the statue of Thai Buddha. For these reasons, we suggest that this Medicine Buddha was made in Southeast Asia, perhaps for a Chinese community, although some Theravada Buddhists do worship Medicine Buddha. This is what we propose and should by no mean be considered a definite characterization.
The statue is cast in the lost wax technique and the clay core still remains and visible within the base. It is possible that the Buddha was fixed in position or the base plate is lost.
Styles / Movements Asian, Baroque, Religious
Incollect Reference Number 324087
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