Central Asia, Tibet, ca. 19th century CE. A pretty bronze arm of Buddha, with the hand in the mudra known as the "Wheel of Dharma," the Dharmashakra (see more on this iconography below). The sculptor created fine details; just look at those fingernails, not to mention the wrinkles, all giving the piece a wonderful sense of realism. Size: 5.5" L x 1.05" W (14 cm x 2.7 cm); 5.55" H (14.1 cm) on included custom stand.
The Dharmashakra symbolizes one of the most important moments in Buddha's life: when he preached his first sermon to his companions at the Deer Park in Sarnath, immediately after his Enlightenment. It represents the moment when he set in motion the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma. The thumb and index fingers of the hand touch at their tips, forming a circle, with the three other fingers extended. When this arm was part of a larger statue, the hand would have been held in front of the heart, symbolizing that these teachings are straight from the heart of the Buddha.
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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