CATALOGUE No. 31 WOODEN SEATED BUDDHA WITH AN ALMS BOWL
CAMBODIA, POST-ANGKOR PERIOD
LATE 19TH CENTURY
H. 54 CMS, 21 INS
A charming and unusual carved lacquered and gilded wood figure of Buddha, seated in virasana with his hands raised to present an alms bowl, the face calm and serene with a domed usnisha highlighted in black lacquer; wearing a pleated sanghati with one shoulder exposed.
Few wooden images remain from this period because of the ravages of time and insects. This example has survived in excellent condition, most likely because of the insect repelling qualities of the lacquer with which it is coated. For a discussion of Post-Angkor wooden Buddhas, see page 174 in M. Giteau, Khmer Sculpture and the Angkor Civilisation, London: Thames and Hudson, 1965. Giteau writes that the figures are mostly of Koki wood (Hopea species).
The National Museum, Phnom Penh has a number of similar figures – see, for example, the slightly later example (dated 1919 AD) on p. 30 in Khun Samen, Post-Angkorian Buddha, Exhibition catalogue, National Museum, Phnom Penh, 2000.
Provenance: Private German collection.