Antique Wood Gilt Buddha Calling for Rain, Laos (3153PAOK) $1575


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, elegant gestures, lyrical flaring robes and graceful curves of the body reflecting the Buddha’s gentleness.  The curvature,  proportions and oversized head indicate the perfection, wisdom and compassion of the “Enlightened One. He stands on a multi-tiered circular and waisted base.  Carved Laotian images as old and elegant as this are rare.


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). The unique Lao interpretations of the lakshanas (“auspicious marks” of the Buddha)are seen in this statue: 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. This peaceful and serene Buddha has a curved hairline  with snail-crowned curls, arched eyebrows,  gilt skin, and curved ear lobes framing his oversized head that emphasizes his wisdom and compassion. The distinctive flame-like tiered finial 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. The totality of the curvature and proportions with an oversized head indicate the perfection, wisdom and compassion of the “Enlightened One. He 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 indicates a deep and unwavering respect for the Buddha. He stands in the “Calling for Rain” mudra with slender curved elongated arms mirroring his body and his curved hands with long fingers of even length pointing to the ground. This position is 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 complements this statue, as his position symbolizes upward flight. It is in very good condition with an age crack on the pedestal. The ushnisha has been reinstalled on its original vertical peg. It is part of the VA Collection of Buddhist-Art.


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


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 24.5” Dia: 7”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 62.23cm Dia: 17.78cm


Very good, see description


6lbs 3oz

Shipping Box Size