Antique Carved Buddha in Freedom from Fear, Laos (3148LKE) $1275


H: 20”  W: 3.75”  D: 3.75” | CALL 213-568-3030 FOR SHIPPING

This antique Lao Buddha stands in refined dignity displaying inner tranquility and strength, hands in abhaya mudra that connotes reassurance, divine protection, and dispelling fear and signifies Buddha’s spiritual power as he bestows protection from evil and ignorance and conveys “fear not” to devotees.  As typical of Lao Buddhas he is covered in gilt visually reflecting his golden skin and a finial or radiance as a flame emerging from his. His  wet style Buddha robe that is smooth and graceful in its simplicity and adds elegance to the carving.


This Theravada Lao Buddha reflects the Buddhism practiced in the Southeast Asia which follow conservative traditions in depicting the Buddha, closely following proscribed cannons in ancient texts. Lao sculptural styles resemble those of Northern and Northeastern Thailand where Buddha statues closely reflect the lakshanas of golden skin, well-formed nose; hair with soft snail-crowned spiral curls; and elongated body, face, long arms, fingers and hands. Unique to Lao Buddhas is the gilt covering to reflect his golden skin, curved-shaped pendulous ears and a distinctive flame-shaped radiance emerging from the ushnisha  which functions as a spiritual aureole. He wears a thin wet style long uttarasanga (monastic robe) and antaravasaka (undergarment) wrapped around his hips with a folded sanghati on his left shoulder. Laos and Thailand are unique in portraying Buddha holding up both hands in abhaya mudra made with the arm crooked, palm of the raised hand facing outward, and fingers upright and joined.  Referred to as “Freedom from Fear” or the “Gesture of Protection” that symbolizes benevolence, protection, peace and dispelling of fear that represents Buddha’s fearlessness and spiritual power that he confers to others and thus also means “fear not” to the devotees viewing the image. It also is called the “Causing the Waters to Subside” or “Calming the Ocean” which reflects Buddha’s visit to India where he met the monk Kasyapa who was giving sermons and living in a meager hut near a river that began to flood. The Buddha raised both arms and miraculously caused the floodwaters to recede, at which time Kasyapa converted himself and his thousands of followers to Buddhism. Lao artisans are expected to be in both a spiritual and mental state when carving BuddhistStatues which enables them to visualize the ideal Buddhist reality so that Laos images display a wide variety of artistic styles with no images being identical.  Although the Buddha is not perceived as a deity, Lao Buddhists often seek to communicate with the supernatural world through Buddha statues by praying and making offerings to them in temples and on a home altar. Only a fragment of the original high pedestal remains and has been replaced with a new two-tier stand but this Buddha-Statue otherwise is in very good condition with a dark patina showing its age. Antique Laotian carvings of the Buddha have become rare, and this piece is portrayed in the “wet style” that shows the shape of Buddha’s bodt as if the robe he is wearing was wet. He is also portrayed with very thin pendulous ears. This carving is in the VA Collection of Buddhist-Art.


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

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

Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique (1200-1920)


18-19th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 20” W: 3.75” D: 3.75”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 50.80cm W: 9.52cm D: 9.52cm


Very good, see description

Item Number

3148 LKE


3lbs 7oz

Shipping Box Size