AGE: – 19th – 20th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Hollow Lacquer
DESCRIPTION: – Shan style Hollow Lacquer Shan Buddha Statue
DEPTH: – 30cm
WEIGHT:– 2.6 kg.
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An impressive Shan style Burmese Hollow Lacquer Buddha Statue with hand gesture in bhumisparsa mudra, seated on a pedestal decorated with lotus petals. Thayo lacquer represents the hair curls with a wooden finial seated on top of the rounded usnisha. Hollow lacquer and Wooden Buddha statues in Burma are more often seen gilded and decorated with glass mosaics and thayo lacquer decoration.
The colours on this statue possibly represent the colours of Myanmar. The current flag of Myanmar is red, green and yellow. The Burmese monks robe is traditionally maroon coloured as is the colour of the robe in this statue and the yellow trim around the robe representing gold, a colour used prolifically in temples and pagodas in Burma.
The lacquer used in the making of these light and durable Buddha statues comes from the Melanorrhoea tree found in Thailand and in the Shan state of Burma. Similarly, as in the harvesting of rubber a cut is made into the bark of the tree, allowing the sap to drip through a bamboo tube into a container attached to the tree.
The resin/lacquer from the Melanorrhoe tree turns black naturally when exposed to sunlight, unlike rubber which retains its light colouring. Because the lacquer from this tree has in more recent times become quite expensive, these days additives are often mixed in with the resin.
The lacquer from the Melanorrhoea tree also known as Thitsi and is used in the crafting of the black lacquered hsun-ok monk offering bowls, tea sets, cups and a myriad of other objects that are crafted in the Bagan area in Burma. These objects are frequently complemented with gold leaf.