My beautiful late nineteenth century Japanese Buddha

I purchased this looking for a present for my mothers birthday. It’s was a expensive item, considering I am not wealthy and live a simple life. It was advertised at $1450 Australian dollars and I haggled in down to $1200. Still no small investment for me, however, I have been on the lookout around for over two year or more and in Australia it’s not east to find beautiful statues like this. I decided to find out as much as I could about my the new addiction to home. I love it but had no knowledge of Japanese wooden Buddhist statues or art to be honest.

I do however have a good eye for old things of quality, considering at one point in my life I collected antiques and restored old furniture for a hobby. I suspected the base was not original and was fascinating how the colour was applied and the calving technique was a complete mystery. So here is my researching and experts appraisals.

My Buddha statue

Appraisal done by –

‘Thank you for submitting your item for appraisal. This appears to be a late Meiji period large wooden buddha, gilt or sheet metal gilt over black lacquer, patinated. The Buddha is depicted seated, the mudra is invisible, mandorla and lotus throne is missing. The estimate is based on similar items offered or sold at auction. There is no measurement for the sentimental value you might attach to the item.

Estimated value $1500 to 2000 US dollars ‘

My second question was answered too.

‘Hi, I was surprised to see the hand gesture hidden by the cloth. I must admit I have never seen this version before. I assume it is the mida-no-jōin mudra, perhaps the artisan thought this is spiritual in itself and he leaves it to the believer to imagine it? The colour of the gilding looks more like brass, an alloy of copper and zinc. ‘

This web site is amazing and explains the whole tradition.

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