A Folk or Rustic Wood Carving: Seated Buddha

$475.00 USD

late nineteenth, early twentieth century
8 1/4" x 4" x 2 1/2", 20.9 cm x 10.1 cm x 6.35 cm

This is a rustic, hand carved wood image of Buddha seated on a lotus and presented against a beautifully large mandorla or halo like enclosure.

This type of unschooled, country carving may have been made in the home by one of the members of a family in order to place it in their home shrine--or it could have been made a country person to sell for profit.

The hand carving of lucky gods destined for home shrines was encouraged by the local governments in Japan's Tohoku or Northeastern region as a way to stimulate income for those living there. This might have been carved by someone doing the same.

It is of a goodsize and it has a rich, dark patina which indicates it spent a good amount of time inside a home being exposed to the smoke and soot that old fashioned Japanese interiors were known for.

It is not often that one sees an image of Buddha in this rustic form and therefore it piques interest that someone would tackle such a profoundly important subject. What is often found as rustic sculpture in Tohoku are the lucky gods Ebisu and Daikoku; there is also a tradition of carving beautifully abstract, seated hawks. Buddhas are rarely seen.

This piece has a commanding presence and no doubt was hand crafted with great care knowing it was meant to guard the welfare of a family.