Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future, finely cast seated in the position of Royal Ease with his right hand holding a pearl and his left in dhyana mudra, wearing a long flowing scarf and a lotus bordered dhoti open at the chest to reveal an elaborate beaded necklace, the facial features finely rendered with eyes slightly downcast in a serene expression, his plaited hair falling over each shoulder and framed by a delicate crown centered with an image of Amitabha
Gallery Ming-Peri, Berlin, purchased in 1955 (by repute).
Gilt-bronze figures of the late Yuan and early Ming period are extremely rare and the present figure is unusual for its naturalistic modelling of the Buddha Maitreya in the Royal Ease pose. Maitreya was believed to be the Buddha of the Future, successor of Shakyamuni. In this form he is depicted as a Bodhisattva waiting for the right time to appear and to be enthroned in this world as the next Buddha.
For a related figure of Maitreya, see one similarly attributed to the Ming dynasty, sold in these rooms, 12th November 1974, lot 115.
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