**Originally Listed At $500**
Southeast Asia, Thailand, ca. 19th century CE. A brilliant cast bronze image of Prince Siddhartha prior to his enlightenment; we know this as we see no ushnisha or rashmi. His hands are positioned in the Bhumisparsa or 'earth witness' mudra, and he is seated in half lotus position atop a three tiered, flame spiked throne with front canopy. This sculpture is a quintessential example of the Ratanakosin style with its flame-like motifs emerging from the shoulders and ears of the crown, beautiful robe with a floral design, and elaborately decorated pedestal. Beyond the incredible detail, lustrous gold gilt on virtually the entire piece and red lacquer highlights on the throne and back canopy add to the beauty of this work of spiritual art! Size: 6-1/4" x 5" x 2-1/2" (15.9 x 12.7 x 6.4 cm)
The Ratanakosin style is the continuation of the Ayutthaya style that rose after the destruction of Ayutthaya in 1767. Wood became less important than it was in the Ayuttaya period, and bronze became the material of choice.
Prince Siddharta is presented in a calling the earth to witness Mudra, his left hand on lap with palm upright and his right hand touching the earth. This Mudra symbolizes the moment of Buddha's enlightenment. According to legend, Siddhartha Gautama (the historical Buddha) was attacked by a demon Mara with legions of frightful monsters. They intended to scare Siddhartha away from the sacred Bodhi tree. However, Siddhartha would not move. Mara then dared to claim Siddhartha's seat of enlightenment for himself, claiming that his spiritual deeds were more significant than Siddhartha's. Mara's monsters cried out, "I am his witness!" and Mara looked at Siddhartha and challenged, "Who will speak for you?" Siddhartha's replied without words. Instead he reached out his right hand to touch the earth, and the earth boldly pronounced, "I bear you witness!"
Provenance: Ex-private Loveland, Colorado collection.
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