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Jonathan Tucker
Antonia Tozer
ASIAN ART

37 Bury Street  St James's  London  SW1Y 6AU 
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VAT Registration No. 752 1977 15

Terracotta Buddha

An unglazed terracotta model of the Buddha
China
Tang Dynasty; 618-907
terracotta
Height 22 ¼ ins, 56.5 cm

An unglazed terracotta model of the Buddha seated in ‘European pose’ on a tiered rectangular pedestal, his right hand holding a fold of robe against his chest and the left resting upon his thigh, wearing a full length robe, lightly moulded and draping close to the body to reveal his feet; a separately modelled mandorla with rising flames encircling a central floral halo, flanked by ornamental carvings of hornless dragons (chi) with bulging eyes, upturned snout and gaping mouths and beneath, a pair of lambs standing on hind legs and supported by flowers; the pedestal with a pair of crouching lions, extensive traces of red pigments throughout.

Images of the Buddha rendered in pottery are rare. Three examples of slightly earlier date were included in an exhibition The Art of Contemplation, National Palace Museum, Taipei, see exhibition catalogue, 1997, nos 59-61. This unusual posture can be seen in a Tang dynasty limestone Maitreya Buddha made by the Buddhist nun Guiyiang for her teacher in 703 AD during the reign of Empress Wu, in the Osaka Municipal Museum of Art and illustrated as figure 144, page 194 in The Silk Road and the World of Xuanzang, exhibition catalogue, Japan, 1999.

Age verified by three point Oxford Thermoluminescence Test C102t68.

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