February 08, 2020 09:00 AM EST Asheville, North Carolina


Rare Burmese Ivory Carving, Life of the Buddha

age unknown, fossilized ivory, elaborately carved with scenes from the life of Shakyamuni Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama seated on lotus throne beneath bodhi canopy in Bhumisparsha mudra, flanked by two guardian figures in the Gandharan style, scenes of birth and parinirvana at middle and top sections, the Buddha seated beneath bodhi tree in Varada mudra verso, 9-3/4 in.

Note: Depicted in this intricately carved work are several scenes from the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Shakyamuni Buddha. Siddhartha's birth is depicted in the left center register of the carving, where he is seen having just emerged from the hip of his mother, Mayadevi, who supports herself by holding the branch of a bodhi tree. On the reverse, the Bhudda is seated in Varada mudra (gesture of charity and welcoming), with the figure at right possibly representing the milkmaid Sujata, who ended the Buddha's six year period of asceticism with her offering of kheer. The central scene on the object's face shows the Buddha in Bhumisparsha mudra, the "earth touching" or "earth witness" gesture, symbolizing the Buddha's attaining enlightenment beneath a bodhi tree. In the carving's top section, the Buddha's ascendance is depicted, where he stands upon a lotus base, flanked by two figures riding clouds. According to the consignor, the carving was purchased in Mae Sai, Thailand in 1978. 

This lot contains animal or plant material that may be restricted under federal, state and/or local law. Prospective bidders should check all applicable government wildlife restrictions prior to placing a bid. The buyer is solely responsible for obtaining any necessary licenses or permits from federal, state and/or local authorities applicable to their purchase or transport of the object. Please note that bidders in New Jersey may not bid on any lots containing elephant ivory, mammoth ivory, or rhinoceros horn.

Provenance:Edwards Living Estate, Hendersonville, North Carolina


possibly lacquered or stained, areas of discoloration, scattered cracks throughout, base with four holes (one later drilled, likely to test material), probable loss to top left figure (staff top and flag not present as with opposite figure)

Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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