The Bodhisattva Collection

A Fine Thai Rattanakosin Bronze Buddha, 19th Century

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Southeast Asian: Sculpture: Pre 1900: Item # 962834
The Bodhisattva Collection
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From our Southeast Asia Collection, a very fine 19th century Thai Rattanakosin bronze Buddha exhibiting the rarely seen Pang Ham Phra Kaen Chan mudra, also known as the "Stopping the Sandalwood Image" mudra. This Buddha is especially well-cast with sharp details. It has just the right balance of wear commensurate with age combined with a good amount of retained original gilding, ultimately giving the piece its undeniable air of age and authenticity.

As stated above, this particular mudra is very rarely seen. According to Buddhist folklore, while the Buddha was away from earth in Tavatisma heaven preaching to his mother on the summit of Mount Meru, King Udayana had a sandalwood replica made of him and placed upon Buddha's usual seat within the large hall of the Jetavana Garden at Sravasti. Upon Buddha's return to earth, the sandalwood image miraculously stood up and graciously greeted him. But Buddha halted the statue with his left hand and requested that it return to the podium. This particular parable is so esoteric that it is still subject to varying interpretations. One such interpretation is that the story serves to evidence the humbleness and humility of Buddha, who did not himself see the great importance of his return, and thus did not feel the need to be greeted with any particular fanfare upon his arrival.

Size and Condition: 22 1/8 inches tall, 5 1/4 at widest point. Some loss to the gilding as evidenced in the photos, but no damage or repairs. Excellent condition overall.