This Buddha sculpture is known to have come from Myanmar (previously known as Burma). British rule in Burma lasted from 1824 until it finally gained independence in 1948.
During this time, some wealthy gentlemen collectors, including those from Nairn, travelled to British colonies, returning with a range of exotic and culturally significant objects, artefacts, and artworks.
The objects they acquired were often viewed as symbols of Britain’s imperial prestige and wealth. This history has now called into question the lack of cultural sensitivity, especially since many objects were taken without regard for their original context or purpose.
Displayed on a plinth, this Buddha sculpture is made of a white marble or soapstone which has been incised with details of the face and body. There are traces of gold leaf paint and a white pigment within some of the incisions, giving us hints of its original appearance. Sadly, nothing is known about the circumstances in which it was collected.