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Buddha in Earth Touching Mudra (Bhumisparsa)
Item No. 19202

20th Century, Buddhist, Burma
Lacquer over Wood with Gilt
11" x 6" x 3.5"
( 27.94 x 15.24 x 8.89 cm)
(H x W x D)

The Buddha sits in padmasana, or lotus position, with his feet crossed and the exposed soles faced upwards. His right hand is in bhumisparsa (earth witnessing, or gesture of touching the earth) the mudra in which the even-length fingers of his right hand touch the earth in front of him. This mudra represents Buddha as he meditated during the night of his enlightenment. His left hand rests in his lap in dhyana mudra, the gesture of absolute balance and meditation which represents the attainment of spiritual perfection or enlightenment.

The statue is made in the Mandalay style, with a fillet band which separates his smoothly rendered hair from his face. His head tilts slightly forward. In the center of his forehead is an urna -- a circular bump which is one of the marks of a Buddha -- inset with cut glass. The Buddha’s oval face radiates contentment and serenity. His head, which tilts slightly forward, is topped by a thick, round, usnisha (cranial protuberance indicating a special spiritual and wise being). He wears some sort of cloth headdress, totally atypical for a Buddha of this type. His arched eyebrows extend to his nose above almond shaped eyes and his pursed lips form a slight smile. His elongated ears, which represent his extraordinary wisdom and spiritual enlightenment, flare out from the sides of head and touch his shoulders.

He wears a monk’s robe which leaves his right shoulder bare. The robe, covered has a “fish” style sash and falls in decorative folds at the hem. A shawl hangs in folds over his shoulders. He sits on a wasted throne with a horizontal line of stylized down pointing lotus leaves, two horizontal lines of beaded indentations enclosing green flat cut glass circles with the top covered with folds of a ritual cloth.

The image is in fine condition with gilt covering the entire piece, including the underside.

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