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Lot n° 44

Buddha. Lan Na Kingdom, northern Thailand, XVI-XVII...

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Buddha. Lan Na Kingdom, northern Thailand, XVI-XVII centuries. Bronze, with olive green patina, high quality. Very good condition for its age. Slight lack under the right elbow. Measurements: 48 cm x 28 cm x 20 cm, This is a masterpiece of Thai sculpture, from the Lan Na kingdoms around the Mekong. The piece is made of bronze. On the long neck, the delicate serene oval stands out for the careful execution, which is transmitted to each of the chiseled and carved details. The face is of exceptional quality. The straight nose traces a symmetrical double bridge to draw the eyebrows. The closed eyelids indicate meditation, the elongated earlobes symbolize nobility and wisdom. The bhumi sparsa mudra ('gesture of touching the Earth', being bhumi: 'the planet Earth'; and sparsha: 'to touch') represents the moment when Buddha solved the problem of ending suffering when he was under the Bodhi tree. Usually represented by the Buddha seated in the lotus position, as in this magnificent bronze. The right hand almost touches the ground with the fingertips; the left hand rests on the leg with the palm facing upward. Buddha is seated on a lotus-shaped throne (symbol of purity), which in turn sits on an openwork base with foliate motifs. The kingdom of Lanna, Lan Na (translatable as "the kingdom of a million rice fields") was an Indianized state in northern Thailand. It consisted of a series of partially independent city-states. The kingdom was founded in 1259 by King Mengrai The Great, when he succeeded his father as leader of the kingdom of Chiang Saen. In 1262 he founded the city of Chiang Rai as its capital (1296-1775). The country grew rapidly by bringing most of the villages in the area under his leadership, and the annexation of the Mon kingdom of Haripunchai in 1292 was also part of this growth. In 1296 the city of Chiang Mai was founded as the new capital of the kingdom with the help of allies Ngam Muang of Phayao and Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai. However, it was weakened and then fell under affluent Burmese. From the 16th century onwards, Lanna was ruled by successive puppet kings who were being appointed by the Burmese kings.