strong>AGE: – 19th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Dry Hollow Lacquer technique
DESCRIPTION: – Antique Burmese Shan Hollow Lacquer Buddha Statue
HEIGHT: – 109cm
WIDTH: – 50cm
DEPTH: – 35cm
WEIGHT: – 7.3 kg.
An impressive and beautiful Antique Burmese Shan Hollow Lacquer Buddha Statue with a narrow waisted high pedestal, large bulbous finial and long pointed usnisha. The pedestal is decorated on both the front and sides with coloured glass mosaic panels held in place by the thayo lacquer decoration.
The Burmese artisan is renowned for the crafting these unique time consuming and complex lightweight durable hollow Buddha statues. The hollow lacquer technique. In Burma today there is a revival in the crafting of these hollow lacquer Buddha statues and although recent many of the glass panels used are dating back to the 17th – 18th Century.
The hand gesture with the right arm pendant with palm facing outwards, thumb and index finger touching is the gesture of blessing, it denotes the altruistic quality of the Buddha, this gesture can be seen on both sitting and standing Buddha statues.
Crafting one of these hollow lacquer Buddha statues prior to the end of the 20th Century was a time consuming and lengthy process. Firstly, a temporary support for the lacquer soaked cloth was made, either in the form of unbaked clay or sometimes bamboo. Layers of course woven cloth such as hemp were used to absorb the lacquer, each layer had to dry thoroughly before a new layer could be applied. Facial features such as ears, eyes and nose as well as hands and feet were often created separately.
All hollow lacquer Buddha statues we have come across in Burma are of the Shan style and Tai Yai style, that is not to say that they weren’t made in any other style, we just haven’t come across any from others parts of Myanmar.
Hollow lacquer Buddha statues were also made in Nepal, Japan and China. the methods used for creating these sculptures although similar, varied. For those interested in the various methods used for crafting dry lacquer or hollow lacquer sculptures in Asia, this is an excellent document written by Mary Shepherd Slusser.