a fine thai, buriram province, high tin content bronze figure of avalokiteshvara
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a fine thai, buriram province, high tin content bronze figure of avalokiteshvara


a fine thai, buriram province, high tin content bronze figure of avalokiteshvara
7th/8th century
Standing in slight tribhanga, his right hand holding the now broken lotus stalk, the left kamandalu, wearing short sampot secured by a plain belt, his face with serene expression, arched eyebrows, incised almond-shaped eyes, broad nose, elongated earlobes, hair combed into a conical-shaped jatamakuta with three tiers of looped curls set with Amitabha, green patina
32.5 cm high, mounted
Mr. and Mrs. John Bunker Collection
Mr. Carter Burden Collection
Sotheby's, Indian and Southeast Asian Art, New York, March 27, 1991, Lot 187
E. C. Bunker, 'Pre-Angkor Period Bronzes from Pra Kon Chai', Archives of Ancient Art, vol. XXV, Asia Society, New York 1971-1972, p. 73, fig. 9
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Lot Essay

Over three hundred Buddhist bronze statues were found in the Buriram province of Thailand in 1964 including the presented one. In the March/April 2002 issue of Arts of Asia, Emma Bunker unveiled in her article 'The Prakon Chai Story: Facts and Fiction', pp. 106-125, the exact finding spot (Prasat Hin Khao Plai Bat II) of this group. Most bronzes represent the bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara or Maitreya, while only a few have Buddha Sakyamuni as subject. The bodhisattva images were made in the style of Pre Angkor Cambodia as the area where they were found lay on the crossroad from India through Burma, Thailand towards Cambodia and beyond. The entire group forms more or less an unified entity, although some bronzes display a high tin content like the one under review. Most bodhisattvas are casted in a pure ascetic form. This is accentuated by their slender form, elongated body and simple dhoti. No jewellery is found on their body, contrasting strongly with the usual concept of bodhisattva. The group also displays an internal development with the earlier examples, like the presented one, being slightly less static than the later ones. The earlier statues can be dated to the end of the seventh to early eighth century.


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