Exhibition Pieces

Exhibition Pieces (not for sale)
Outstanding museum-quality hsun ok (offering bowl).
18th Century, from Shan States. Constructed from coiled split bamboo, subsequently lacquered, gilded, and decorated with thayo relief work of the hmanzi shwe cha style, where the thayo relief has been built up on the surface. Unlike similar Mandalay pieces of the same era which were usually decorated with animals, flowers, and swirling designs, this piece is decorated with intricate geometric patterns.

Although a number of the stones/spangles are missing, structurally the piece is in original condition, and is completely without damage. It is a quite unique, and we feel, unrepeatable piece. 26" high. 11" diameter.

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Bronze mandala from Bagan, 12th century AD.
Buddhism teaches that the world as we experience it is an illusion. In reality, nothing has an independent existence; all phenomena arise from and return to a state of non-being. In Buddhist art this is illustrated by the mandala, a drawing or model representing the universe and its processes.

A mandala is organized around a central figure or sacred symbol from which it emanates; this is surrounded by concentric enclosures occupied by deities or symbols. This bronze mandala from Bagan, Burma, is in the form of a lotus flower, an important Buddhist symbol representing purity and perfection: just as a pure lotus flower has its roots in the mud and filth of the riverbed, so a Buddha has transcended the mire of physical existence to attain Enlightenment.

The central figure shows the Buddha in seven different positions, underneath a Mount Meru-like structure. On the lotus petals around him are eight figures of praying Bodhisattvas. The petals of the mandala open and close to demonstrate how phenomena arise from and return to emptiness.

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Standing Buddha
12th Century. Bagan. Probably bronze, which has been covered in silver, and subsequently gilded. Some gilding has rubbed off, leaving the silver showing through on the face, hands, and toes. The right hand is in abhaya mudra, a gesture of protection and reassurance, the left is holding the edge of the robe. Extremely rare, and absolutely stunning example of Bagan art at its peak. 17½" high.

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front view

side view

back view

Stone Buddha Head
Approx 9th Century. Indonesia (central Java). Beautifully carved Buddha head. The hair and ushnisha (the cranial bump signifying spiritual attainment) are carved clockwise in tight curls. Outstanding example of its kind. 17" high. 10" diameter.

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Gold/red ceremonial bowl. Kengtung (Shan States).
Approx 1920/1930. Constructed from woven split bamboo, the exterior is decorated with bands of scrolling, formed of strands of thayo, then gilded.

The cartouche on the base of this piece reads "Kengtung Saopha Sut Thiha - donated". "Saophas" were the ruling Princes of the Shan States, and Saopha Sut Thiha was the last Prince of Kengtung. Most Saophas were arrested by the regime of Ne Win following the military coup in 1962, and many died in captivity.

This bowl was owned by Saopha Sut Thiha - and was either donated by him to person/persons unknown, or was donated to him by person/persons unknown - the cartouche is unclear on this point. The piece is, however, unique and probably unrepeatable, and is in almost perfect condition. As such, it is truly a collector's piece.

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