Antique Wood Gilt Buddha Calling for Rain, Laos (3153 PAOK)


H: 24.5” Dia: 7″ | CALL 213-568-3030 FOR SHIPPING

Lao carved Buddha statues are renowned for their delicacy and refinement. This elegant antique Buddha is depicted in the “Calling for Rain” mudra found only in Laos with his half-closed gazing downward in meditation. His narrow hips, elegant gestures, and slim hands reinforce the graceful curves of the body and the Buddha’s gentleness. He wears a three-part monk’s robe that flares out lyrically reaching to just above his ankles.  The totality of the curvature and proportions with an oversized head indicate the perfection, wisdom and compassion of the “Enlightened One.”.The image stands on an unusually high multi-tiered circular and waisted base.  Carved Laotian images as old and elegant as this are rare. This is part of the VA Spiritual-and-Inspirational Collection


This delicately carved Theravada Lao-Buddha from the latter part of the 2nd Classic Period (1827-1893) in Northern Laos reflects many of the artistic traditions of the Lao Golden Age (1520-1777) and shows the unique Lao interpretations of the lakshanas reflected in depictions of the Buddha. During this period, statues reflected that the Buddha should have an egg-shaped head and face, golden skin, eyebrows like a drawn bow, a nose like the beak of an eagle and smooth round arms like elephant tusks. Following these canons, this peaceful and serene Buddha’s hairline is curved with snail-crowned curls, arched eyebrows that meet at the bridge of the nose, gilt to reflect golden skin, pendulous ear lobes framing his oversized head that emphasizes his wisdom and compassion. The distinctive Theravada flame-like tiered finial emerging from his ushnisha as a stylized aureole indicates he is enlightened and represents his fiery energy or explosive spiritual power. He wears a ticivara, a three-part monks robe tied at the waist with a sash in which the hem flares out decoratively, almost touching his fingers and reaching to just above his ankles. This Buddha-Statue stands on an unusually high multi-tiered circular and waisted pedestal, which is as tall as the image, reflecting the widely accepted Lao beliefs that a high pedestal reflects a deep and unwavering respect for the Buddha. This Buddha is in the mudra called”Calling for Rain” (samabhanga) in which he stands upright with slender curved elongated arms mirroring his body and his curved hands with long fingers of even length pointing to the ground with its origin tied to a story where the Buddha summoned the skies to rain during a time of draught. An old Laotian custom has been to fire bamboo rockets into the sky at the end of the dry season in a plea for rain, which compliments this depiction of the Buddha, as the his position seems to symbolize upward flight. It is a prime example of Lao Buddhist-Statues and is in very good condition with an age crack on the pedestal.


Somkiart Lopetcharat, Lao Buddha: The Image and Its History, Bangkok, Siam International Book Company, Ltd, 2000.

K.I. Matics, Gestures of the Buddha, Chulalongkorn University Press, Bangkok, 2001.

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique (1200-1920)


Laos 2nd Classical Period (1827-1893)

Materials and Technique

Wood, polychrome, lacquer

Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 24.5” Dia: 7”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 62.23cm Dia: 17.78cm


Very good, see description


6lbs 3oz

Reference Number


Shipping Box Size