Left standing silently at the corner against the stained peeling wall, this Buddha head belongs to a wooden Standing Buddha statue in Wat Sisaket. It has a typical symbolic 3 lines on the neck to signify this image represents the Buddha. Instead of the shell-like curly hair, the artisan uses sharp conical spike made of sawdust with glue to represent the hair. The face is elongated and ends with a nice rounded chin unlike the Thai, has a little sharper chin. Wat Sisaket in Vientiane, Laos.
Buddha image without the usual robe covering his left shoulder. Quite a number of similar one are placed in the inner chamber of Shitaung kyaung. Workmanship is very rough and made of clay. How it end up like that or why, the monk couldn’t explain. The only reasonable explanation is that they do put on a real cloth over it during ceremony, so it is OK that some of them are without the robe. Could be a later addition and not from the ancient times. One thing I do know is that the weather was very hot when I was there. Shitaung, ancient capital Mrauk-U, 16th century.
This ancient piece was carved out from a single hard stone that allow smooth finishing for fine details as can be seen on the head-dress. It has a large pierced ear with an ornament stuck to it and a large head with rounded face, typical among the many old stone pieces in Mrauk-U and western part of Myanmar. This one seems to be the most complete with details and in good condition. It is rested inside the main hall of Shitaung, a stone temple. Ancient capital Mrauk-U, 14th century.
This one shines brightly among the usual glittering gold-like bronze pieces placed along the gallery surround the main wihaan (hall). It is cast from silver and constantly polish to ensure it sparkles. You can spot it from the distance that make you ponder for a while. Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat or in short Wat Yai (big).
A Cambodian Buddha image from the Bapuan period, 11th century, on displays at a small museum in Battambang. It has a typical heavy ear-ring and a 7 headed naga hood protecting the Buddha in meditation. The complete image would have him sitting on the coiled cobra body. The eye is closed in this piece and has the 3 lines identification mark on his neck. The 3 lines were introduced to identify the Buddha from among other images of deities that may look similar in the temple. Somehow the 3 lines have been copied blindly at later period to made statues. Even it is damaged, aesthetically, this piece is still very beautiful and much sought-after in the antique market, despite the ban. There are few originals remained in the museum.
Little treasure of Nong Khao
This 4 meter high, 200 years old Buddha sitting on a chair is found at Nong Khao Temple. A little town outside Kanchanaburi. Many little ancient treasures are found in this local community. It was the battle ground during the Burmese invasion. The three white pagoda, the ancient landmark leading the Burmese troop to Thailand is still at the border.
An incomplete bronze Buddha is left on the workshop floor for apprentice to practice. Open to public, this foundry still produce the famous 14th century Phra Chinarat Buddha style image using traditional wax method. The original one can be seen at Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat. You can made to order and a large one takes a year to produce. Owned by Dr Thawi, a renowned Thai artisan.
Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat or simply known as Wat Yai (big). This image is among the most important one evolved in Northern Thailand during the late Sukhothai period 14th century. A flame-like halo is added around the head. It curled round the body and end up at the bottom with a serpent head on both sides. Unlike the plain one, this additional feature enhance the look of the Buddha image and proof to be very popular. It is still in production today at a near-by traditional casting foundry and called the Phra Chinarat Buddha style. There were 2 other images cast during the same period and now being kept in Bangkok at Wat Bowonniwet.
This is how big the head looks. The huge monument is covered in a steel structure, making it difficult to photograph the whole figure without obstruction. The Burmese is building another one, still under construction, just 200 meter South of this temple in the open. You can see it in google map very clearly.
According to record, the original was built with brick and stucco in the 10th century, by a Mon King. Nobody know exactly how it looks like because it was restored several times even before the destruction of Bago in 18th century and left for 100 years until the British era found it. Restoration done by Indian engineer and completed in 1903. So what we see today is the restoration work done 100 years ago. Later part, they add on marble and mosaic around it to enhance the image. I'll add on the head shot for all to see how big it is.