Bronze. Thailand, Khmer, Pre-Angkor style, presumably around 9th to 10th cent.
Very rare, old and almost completely intact bronze sculpture depicting a very youthful appearing bodhisattva Maitreya (Sanskrit, lit. â€žthe benevolent oneâ€œ, in Pali Metteya). He is merely clothed in a sambat with a belt and holding up his four hands. The important features, the head and especially the elegant face, are remarkably well preserved. The eyes are open, gazing directly ahead. He is sporting a very thin-lined moustache above his slightly rubbery lips. The jatamukuta is divided into rows and wears a stupa symbol at the front, the essential clue which indicates this particular bodhisattva. Maitreya is the â€žfuture Buddhaâ€œ. Bronzes of this type and of various sizes (up to one meter) have been found in the Nakhon Ratchasima province and in Prakonchai, Buriram*. The sculpture at hand bears a very convincing old appearance due to the strong, well-marked patina. An original pin on the feet, standing on a wooden base. HEIGHT (WITHOUT BASE) 25,6 CM
* A larger example (69 cm, without arms) is illustrated on page 121 of â€žDas Heilige Biildnisâ€œ, Museum for East Asian Art, KÃ¶ln 1979
From an old German private collection