Mid 19th C, Camphor wood, original polychrome, Hunan.
24” h. 18½” w. 16¾” d.
This Buddha figure is seated padmasana (lotus position), with both hands holding a beggar bowl. He wears a loose-flowing robe, falling open to reveal his chest. His hair is drawn up on top of his head and is completely covered by a high elaborate crown with a knotted plait hanging down the nape and two long plaits escaping the crown to cascade to the shoulders. His face, with downcast eyes, bears a benevolent expression.
This wood figure is composed mainly of camphor, with a different piece of wood for repair at the base due to damage from aging. It is painted with natural mineral pigments and shows traces of gilding, both elements have faded with age. The wood surface shows some cracks from weathering. This aging process produced a wonderful patina on this Buddha figure.
A curator at the Phoenix Art Museum has said in a magazine that authentic antique Buddha figures are very hard to find today, that most are already in private collection or in museums. So, this big Buddha, with aging patina to prove its authenticity, is a treasure to collect.