Rare Burmese Art Pieces
Some Rare Burmese Art Pieces such as the beautifully and finely carved Andagu Stone plaques with the Buddha as the central image, flanked by smaller images culminating with the Buddha in Parinirvana (dying) on the top of the plaque date to the Pagan era. These scenes depicts the main great events in the life of the Buddha, leading up to his enlightenment under the bodhi tree. Some of these andagu stone plaques also show scenes of the seven weeks following the enlightenment of the Buddha.
This soft beige stone with intricately carved detail of these important events in the life of the Buddha is considered to be unique to Burma. A group of Buddhist stelae in varying colours which include the andagu stone is sometimes referred to as mudstone.
Other Buddhist iconography such as the small black stone icon with the male and female figures may have been carried by pilgrims or holy man to Burma to bestow fertility and good weather conditions for growing crops. During this early period in Burma a Brahmanistic influence is seen in some Burmese iconography unearthed around the main Pyu sites in Sri Ksetra and Beikthano.
Andagu Stone plaques are rare. In the book “Myanmar Buddha” written by Somkiart Lopetcharat, there are examples of this type of Andagu stone stele (plaque) dating back to the 10th century, and in the “New Documents of Burmese Sculpture”, written by Claudine Bautze-Picron on Andagu images there are similar examples of these andagu stone plaques.
other rare Burmese art pieces depicting the eight main events in the life of the Buddha found in Burma are made from bronze. Whether these bronze stelae were crafted in Myanmar is also inconclusive.
Many of these small stelae and icons were possibly placed in relic chambers which may have contributed to their preservation.