|Burma, late 19th century|
This fine, carved wooden sculpture of one of the Buddha's two chief disciples, Sariputta (the other is Moggallana), is of gilded, lacquered wood with mirrored glass inserts and thayo work. Conventionally in Burma, Sariputta is depicted seated on the Buddha's right. Sariputta was deemed second to Buddha in terms of wisdom and knowledge of the Dhamma.
The disciple's face is naturally rendered, as is his seated posture. His gaze is somewhere between inquiring and languid. The shape of his head is particularly pleasing.
The whites of the eyes have been made using inserts of either wax or mother-of-pearl, with the pupils having been added with black lacquer.
Sariputta sits in a position of listening with his arms resting on his upper legs. He sits in the way of a Buddhist worshipper with feet pointing behind him and away from the focus of veneration. His right foot rests over he long robe which trails behind him.
The robes are highlighted with bands of moulded lacquer relief work, known as thayo work arrayed in floral scrolls. The thayo patterns have been further inset with glass roundels backed with green and silver foil (a form of decoration known as hman-zi- shwei-cha).
|Location of Origin: Asia|
|Medium/Materials: carved wood|
|Dimensions: height: 33cm, width: 21.5cm, depth: 33cm|
|Primary Classification: Asian Art : South East Asian|
|Images of the Sariputta and Moggallana often are found in Burmese artwork. Carved wooden and lacquered images were used in temples and monasteries where they were placed before images of the Buddha as part of a shrine (hpaya khan).|
See McGill (2009, p. 77) and Fraser-Lu & Stadtner (2015, p. 184-5) for related examples of Sariputta, and Issacs & Blurton (2000, p. 127) for a pair of disciples in the collection of London's Victoria & Albert Museum.
|Provenance: UK art market.|
It was acquired in the UK and almost certainly has been in the UK since colonial times. This accounts for its fine condition despite its obvious age.
|Item Condition:||The image here is in excellent condition for its age. There are relatively few losses or cracks, and only minor scratches to the lacquer surface here and there.|
|Price:||Item has been sold.|
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Item has been sold.
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