This figure is inspried by a group of Buddhist figures made in China in the first half of the fifteenth century that display a style influanced by the art of Tibet. In the preceding century, under the Yuan Dynasty, the authority of Mongol rulers had become closely associated with Tibetan Buddhist, or lamaist, ritual. A tradition of Lamaist art was established in China which seems to be carried on in work such as the present example.
It is very rare to find gilt wood figures of this size. The present lot can best be compared to much smaller gilt bronze examples from the 15th century. Cf. to two closely related bronze bronze figure with hands in the same mudra, one of Manujusri, illustrated by Ulrich von Schroeder, Indo Tibetan Bronzes, pl. 147E, and a more elaborate figure sold in these Rooms, 27 September 1989, lot 1542, both with Yongle marks and of the period. Compare also to two Yongle mark and period gilt bronze figures seated in lalitasana one sold in our London Rooms, 6 June 1988, lot 121, the other sold in our New York Rooms, 3 December 1992, lot 141; and to another two bearing Xuande marks illustrated by von Shroeder, op. cit., 148F and 148G.