Bronze figure Buddha "Shakyamuni"


Kathmandu, Nepal, late 19th century or early 20th century, private collection from Finland.

Nepal is situated just to the south of the Himalayan mountain peaks. Himalaya, stretching from Pakistan to Myanmar, forms the highest land boundary on our planet and is one of the linguitically most complex regions. The Nepal is a multiethnic, multilingual and multicultural country made up of more than 125 ethnic groups and more than 123 languages. Nepal's diverse linguistic heritage evolved from three major language groups: Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman languages, and various indigenous language isolates. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and the largest city.

Beautiful, small gilded bronze alloy Shakyamuni Buddha seated in vajraparyankasana. Shakyamuni's right hand gesturing to the earth in the bhumisparsa mudra position, wearing a close-fitting sanghati with beaded hem decorated with incised foliate hem, the pleated and draped over his left shoulder. The posture bhumisparsha mudra, known as ”calling the earth to witness”, symbolizes the Buddha's enlightenment under the bodhi tree, when he summoned the earth goddess, Sthavara, to bear witness to his attainment of enlightenment. The right hand is held in earth-pressing mudra and the left hand resting elegantly in dhyana mudra supporting the alms bowl.

His face with serene meditative expression, the small urna in relief on his forehead is almost gone, finely arched eyebrows, eyes downcast in contemplation, a slightly-smiling bow shaped mouth. The prominent elongated earlobes reflect back to the days before his enlightenment, when he wore heavy earrings as the Indian Prince Siddhartha and the hairstyle is akin to neat rows of peppercorns, the domed ushnisha surmounted by a bud-shaped chintamani.

Good condition. Age-related wear, abrasion and minor corrosion. Dirt and dust. Size approx. 11,0cm x 7,5cm x 3,5cm. Weight c. 267g.