Friday, December 09, 2011

Lao Buddha of the Day: 18th Century Lao/Lanna

This interesting example was found in a market in Bangkok.

For many Lao, even those living within Laos, there has often been little discussion regarding the historic art traditions of our community and what has made examples of Lao buddha statues unique and distinctive.

In the last century, many key examples of buddhas from the 15th to 19th century were trafficked to foreign private collectors abroad. Many more were damaged or melted down, and we are left only with hints of which buddhas might still be out there, let alone the actual stories behind who they originally belonged to and the histories and memories connected to them, from their construction to their final fate.

According to those who've described it, this Buddha has a face that is typically Laotian in its style for the era. This one has a particularly fascinating finial that is rare to see. He stands 10 1.2 inches high, with a smooth brown patina. There is a casting flaw to the left hand, but otherwise in excellent condition. He was sold to a private collector for an undisclosed sum.

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