Ming Wood Shakyamuni Buddha on Lotus Pedestal, China (16529B-BEME)

H: 18.75:  W: 9.75”  D: 9” | Call us AT 213-568-3030 fOR SHIPPING and price information

This magnificent and rare Ming Dynasty Buddha is covered with dark lacquer and indications of the vibrant gold and red pigmentation that once enhanced this image. His beautiful face radiates serenity with its benign expression as he sits in meditation on an elaborate lotus throne.  Made to be viewed on all sides his three part monk’s robe extends with flowing sleeves over his feet and down his back. In excellent condition with minor paint losses, this rare masterpiece would enhance any environment with its spiritual energy and beauty.


Although there have been countless Buddhas over the centuries, only Shakyamuni is considered The Buddha, the historical figure who lived on earth and was the source and creator of Buddhist doctrine. He is the fourth Buddha of the present era (kalpa) who will be succeeded by the Buddha of the Future Maitreya (Mi-lo-Fu in Chinese) in three thousand years. This Mahayana Buddha sits in meditation (dhyana) with legs in padmasana with one foot faced up, both hands in his lap and thumbs touching in a triangle symbolizing triratna, the Three Jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the dharma (Buddha’s teachings) and the sangha (religious community of monks). Dhyana, the most represented hand pose during the Ming through Qing dynastiesis is the meditation position Buddha assumed while under the Bodhi tree before his enlightenment. He wears a three-part monk’s robe (dhoti) gathered at the waist with a shawl over his shoulders extending to his back. He radiates serenity with abeautiful benign expression emphasized by downcast eyes, an aquiline nose and a slightly smiling mouth. He has the Buddha’s identifying features referred to as lakshanas: pendulous ears symbolizing enlightenment, three neck creases symbolizing luck and an ushnisha, a raised cranial protuberance denoting the seat of intellectual powers, wisdom and divine energy. The ushnisha is centered with a slight hemispherical bump called a nikkeishu in Japanese that, represents his radiating light of wisdom. His head is snail-crowne with raised rounded spiral curls, an allusion to the legend when he was lost in meditation he was usaware of the sun beating on his head. In gratitude for his love for all sentient beings, snails gathered on his head to form a protective hood with their cool bodies. He is seated on a padmapita, a throne with three rows of lotus leaves. In excellent condition, this is covered with a  lacquer coat having licks of the gilt that nliven his red painted throne. It is a rare and beautiful statue, as many Ming Buddha images did not survive China’s modernization.


Fredrick W. Bunce, A Dictionary of Buddhist and Hindu Iconography, New Delhi, D. K. Printworld (P) Ltd., 2001.

Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky, Images of Asia: Chinese Buddhist Art, New York, Oxford University Press, 2002.

Meyer McArthur, Reading Buddhist Art: An Illustrated guide to Buddhist Signs and Symbols, London, Thames and Hudson, 2002.


Additional information

Place of Origin



Antique, Ming Dynasty


16-17th Century

Materials and Technique


Dimensions (inches)

Ht: 18.75” W: 9.75” D: 9”

Dimensions (metric)

Ht: 47.62cm W: 24.76cm D: 22.86cm


8lb 13oz


Excellent, fine patina demonstrating age and use

Item Number


Shipping Box Size