CHINESE BRONZE BUDDHA MI-LO-FWO, an incarnation of MAITREYA Buddha; 17th - 18th Century; H: 11"

Maitreya Buddha, "The Friendly and Benevolent One' or "One who possesses loving kindness" is widely adored by the Chinese Buddhists for his willingness to grant help. He is normally depicted as a fat, genial laughing figure with a mountainous belly, in a sitting posture, and having a large bag beside him. This sculpture is unique as in this depiction, in addition to being fat, and holding a bag, he wears a crown which may suggest a dual incarnation. He is strictly speaking still a Bodhisattva at the ninth stage, the tenth being that of a fully Enlightened Buddha, but he is often worshipped as a Buddha in anticipation of his becoming the next Blessed One in the future.