The emaciated figure, a depiction of Siddhartha before his attainment of Enlightenment, was a popular iconography from the Yuan dynasty where seated figures are modelled seated in a similar posture. The Yuan examples are often found with the chin resting under the hands, such as the carved wood example in the Detroit Institute of Art, illustrated in Hai-wai Yi-chen, Chinese Art in Overseas Collections: Buddhist Sculpture, p. 171, no. 158. The dhoti of the present figure is silver-inlaid with a lotus scrolls, following the tradition of a floral designs as on the monk's robe of the Detroit example.
Compare the stylistic similarities of the fluid folds of the garment with those depicting the robe of a bronze Luohan figure inscribed with a date corresponding to A.D. 1496, sold in these Rooms, 2 November 1999, lot 768, reputedly made for or by the eunach Yaoju.