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Head of Buddha with half closed eyes

19th Century

Shan state

Alabaster with traces of brown lacquer


Private German collection, Rhineland


This head is made from alabaster, with half closed meditative eyes, arched eyebrows, a fine nose, a small mouth and a large ushnisha like a lotus bud atop the head. The Buddha has elongated pendulous earlobes by wearing heavy earrings during his youth. The head had been covered with brown lacquer and gilding. In Burma, alabaster is called sagyin, quarried in a mountain range north of Mandalay. This example is a beautiful evocation of the peacefulness of the Buddha, with its creamy tones inspiring compassion and wisdom.

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