South Asian Collection, ‘Phra Singh Buddha (Northern Thailand; Chieng Saen Style)’, ca. 14, Seraphin Gallery

A large Chieng-Saen seated Buddha. This image can be classified as belonging to the Wat Trakuan school of Sukhothai and contains a mingling of influences. Some of the Buddha images in the Wat Trakuan school may date from the early Sukhothai period . (Charoenwongsa, & Disckul . p.241) The figure is in the bhumisparsna-mudra position (calling the earth to witness). This refers to the Buddha awakened from meditation by doubt insinuated by Mara the Tempter and in reaction instinctively presses his right hand over the foreleg” to touch the earth .(Rajani, p.41).
An iconographical detail is that all the fingers and toes are of
the same size. This apparent anomaly is in conformity with the Digha Nikaya ;
a Pali text known as ‘The Dialogues of Buddha’ .The Pali commentary
specifies that ; among the 32 .iconographic items mentioned are: that the four fingers of both hands and the five toes of each foot be the same length..

REFERENCES

Charoenwongsa, Pisit & Disckul,M.C.Subhadradis. ARCHAEOLOGIA MUNDI THAILAND, Nagel Publishers, Geneva.. 1978

Rajani, Mom Chao Chand Chirayu; Thai Imageries of Suwanbhume; Yodtow Studio,Bangkok 1987.

Ithaca College Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York ,Spring 1971
Catalog exhibition entitled ‘Art of Thailand.’ Item 26, Loan Number 410.70L

Collection of James E. Bogle; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Acquired 22/IX/1959,Ayutthaya, Thailand from Wanchai ( an antique dealer introduced to me by Jim Thompson).