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Large Sandstone Head of Shakyamuni Buddha  
Thailand (formerly Siam), Ayutthaya Kingdom
17th century
16 1/2 inches on stand,  11 1/3 without
Private collection, France.


The face is set in an oval and has large curvilinear brow arches with perfect curvature meeting at the base of an aquiline nose with dilated nostrils. The almond-shaped eyes with half-closed eyelids, the mouth with a wide smile and full lips have pronounced corners reminiscent of the art of Sukhothai. The hair, dotted with a multitude of small spikes, is delimited by a fine edging and forms a delicate V at the forehead. Surface is a lightish grey tone.


The Historic City of Ayutthaya, founded in 1350, was the second capital of the Siamese Kingdom after Sukhothai. It flourished from the 14th to the 18th centuries, during which time it grew to be one of the world's largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a center of global diplomacy and commerce. European travelers in the early 16th century called Ayutthaya one of the three great powers of Asia (alongside Vijayanagar, India and China). The Ayutthaya Kingdom is considered to be the precursor of modern Thailand, and its developments are an important part of the history of Thailand.


The kingdom extended from part of what is now eastern Myanmar (Burma) and western Laos, all the way south to what is now northern Malaysia. It was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. 

Large 17th century, Sandstone Buddha Head from Thailand, Ayutthaya Kingdom

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