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    Sale 1974

    Indian & Southeast Asian Art

    21 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 643

    A gilt bronze figure of the Medicine Buddha

    MONGOLIA, ZANABAZAR SCHOOL, 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A gilt bronze figure of the Medicine Buddha
    Mongolia, Zanabazar School, 18th century
    Finely cast seated in dhyanasana on a double-lotus base, holding an alms bowl and the medicinal fruit, wearing a sanghati with incised floral borders falling in elegant pleats at his ankles and over his left shoulder, his face with cold gold, polychromy and pierced earlobes, the tightly coiled hair rising over the ushnisha and topped by a finial, the base sealed and incised with a gilt double-vajra
    8¾ in. (22 cm.) high


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    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.

    Provenance

    Acquired in the 1990s