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A Gilt-Bronze Figure of the Medicine Buddha, 18th

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Sculpture: Pre 1800: Item # 1266137

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A Gilt-Bronze Figure of the Medicine Buddha, Bhaishajya
Age: 18th century

Seated in dhyanasana on a raised double-lotus base, an alms bowl in his left hand and the medicinal fruit held in his lowered right hand, wearing a lattice-work robe open at the chest with incised borders falling in elegant pleats at his ankles, his face with a benign expression centred by an urna, the tightly coiled hair rising over the usnisha and topped by a finial, richly gilt overall.

The medicinal fruit has been identified as Terminalia chebula, commonly known as myrobalan or arura in Sanskrit, and is used in the ayurvedic system as an astringent, anti-inflammatory and to heal wounds and scalds.

The hand of the Medicine Buddha that holds the myrobalan fruit is extended over the right knee with the palm upward in a gesture of supreme generosity. In his left hand he holds the begging bowl. Whether the worshipper’s sickness is caused by a physical ailment or by a lack of contentment, the Buddha offers two paths by which to overcome it.

Size: 18.2cm in height.
Condition: Generally good with wear by aging. alms bowl missing
Provenance: Acquired from private CA collector