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Home > Auctions > 7th September 2021 > South East Asian Khmer Guardian Figure

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LOT 0323

GBP (£) 18,000 - 24,000
EUR (€) 21,150 - 28,210
USD ($) 25,080 - 33,450

Opening Bid
£18,000 (EUR 21,154; USD 25,084) (+bp*)

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South East Asian Khmer Guardian Figure

13th century AD

A sandstone figure of a guardian lion, the mane arranged in a mass of thick curls across his chest and on the back of the head, the face framed by a triple line of plain foliage, the mouth open in the act of baring teeth, bulging eyes with the pupils formed as a spiral, double outlined by stylised eyebrows; foliate collar arranged around the neck; mounted on a custom-made display stand. 252 kg total, 101cm high including stand (39 3/4"). Fine condition.

From an important English collection; previously in a private Japanese collection, 1970; accompanied by Art Loss Register certificate number S00089859, dated 11 July 2014 and a geological scholarly report no.TL5383 by Dr Ronald Bonewitz; this lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by AIAD certificate number no.10753-177463.

For a related example see Ibbitson, J., Thierry Z. (ed.), Millennium of Glory: Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia, Washington, 1997, p. 81.

The sculpture is in Bayon style. The temple of Bayon in Angkor was built at the end of 12th and in the early 13th century AD. Lions like this one, completely covered in gold, were also found on the Phimeanakas, the 'Heavenly Palace'. They were guardian and protector animals linked to Vishnu. One of the incarnations of Heaven was in fact Narasinja, a divinity half man and half lion.