AGE: – Age unknown possibly pre Pagan, could be early Mon
CONSTRUCTION: – Stone
DESCRIPTION: – Extremely Rare Buddhist Stone Stele Maitreya Buddha from Burma – age related wear
HEIGHT: – 60cm
WIDTH:– 37cm at widest part
WEIGHT:– 25 kg.
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Extremely Rare Buddhist Stone Stele Maitreya Buddha sourced from Burma, with hand gesture in dharmachakrapravartana mudra, also known as the gesture of teaching, depicting the Buddha’s first sermon in Sarnath after he attained enlightenment. The Maitreya is seated with both legs pendant, sometimes referred to as European fashion, with feet resting on a double lotus pedestal and single halo framing the head. The Maitreya is flanked on either side by what would appear to be a lions.
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The face on the is highly unusual, it is not a traditional Burmese style and is possibly a style more in keeping with the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Although this stele is clearly very old, the gilding would have been applied at a later date as would the traces of red underneath the black lacquer used in Burma for centuries in preparation for gilding, this too has also been applied a very long time ago, the gilding is genuine gold leaf. The lacquer on the outside of edges of the throne has been damaged in places revealing the light colour of the sandstone underneath.
The carving on the inner edge of the halo is incomplete as it extends upwards towards the centre, indicating that the the top section of the halo was more rounded, possibly worn due to exposure to the elements or damaged at some point. The dress style is one that is seen in some Gupta and Himalayan style Buddha statues with the body fully robed and rounded neckline. The fingers on both hands are shorter than those found in Burmese Statues.
The Maitreya Buddha is also referred to as a future Buddha or a Buddha in the making and is frequently seen in a seated posture with both legs pendant, both feet resting on a pedestal. The Maitreya Buddha is also seen in Indian, Himalayan and Chinese art with one leg pendant and the other with the knee bent with the foot resting on the thigh or pedestal on which the Maitreya is seated. The Maitreya is neither male or female.