29th Sep, 2022 13:00

DAY 1 - TWO-DAY AUCTION - Fine Chinese Art / 中國藝術集珍 / Buddhism & Hinduism

 
  Lot 221
 

221

A SANDSTONE GUARDIAN FIGURE DEPICTING HANUMAN, KOH KER STYLE

Sold for €26,000

including Buyer's Premium


Lot details

Khmer Empire, 10th century. Finely carved seated on a rectangular base with one knee raised, his right hand holding a vajra and his left resting on his thigh, wearing a short pleated sampot with fine incision work. The face well detailed, the large bulging eyes with neatly incised pupils, the mouth agape revealing sharp teeth and a wrathful expression, flanked by elongated lobes with large earrings, the head surmounted by an elaborate foliate crown.

Provenance: From a distinguished Italian private collection, acquired between the late 1960s and early 1970s. Leonardo Vigorelli, Bergamo, acquired from the above. Leonardo Vigorelli is a retired Italian art dealer and noted collector, specializing in African and ancient Hindu-Buddhist art. After studying anthropology and decades of travel as well as extensive field research in India, the Himalayan region, Southeast Asia, and Africa, he founded the Dalton Somaré art gallery in Milan, Italy, which today is being run by his two sons.
Condition: Excellent condition, commensurate with age. Extensive wear, small losses, minor nicks and surface scratches, signs of weathering and erosion, structural cracks, encrustations. Fine, natural patina overall.

Dimensions: Height 62.8 cm

Guardian figures such as the present lot were placed aside of gateways, steps, and entrances of sacred areas like temples.

Koh Ker, which lies 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Angkor, was the capital of the Khmer Empire from 928-944. Koh Ker's sculptural style is thus distinct from those developed in Angkor's immediate vicinity. The stone sculpture, often monumental in size, is imbued with a heightened sense of movement and a suppleness of form. The Koh Ker rulers adhered to the Hindu religion, especially the Shaiva sect.

Hanuman is most prominently featured in the Indian epic Ramayana, which had gained popularity in Cambodia by the 600s. As a divine being, Hanuman has the power to augment or diminish his size at will, and so he grows to such a stature that he can span the ocean with a single stride.

Literature comparison:
Compare a closely related Koh Ker sandstone figure of Hanuman, 177.8 cm high, in the collection of the National Museum of Cambodia, inventory number NMC.259. Compare a related Koh Ker bronze figure of Hanuman, 15.2 cm high, in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, accession number 1987.43.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Related
Auction: Christie’s Paris, 7 June 2011, lot 381
Price: EUR 97,000 or approx. EUR 119,000 adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: An important sandstone figure of a lion-headed guardian, Cambodia, Khmer, Koh Ker Style, mid-10th century
Expert remark: Compare the closely related pose and manner of carving, the guardian also holding a vajra in his hand. Note the size (84 cm).

 

Khmer Empire, 10th century. Finely carved seated on a rectangular base with one knee raised, his right hand holding a vajra and his left resting on his thigh, wearing a short pleated sampot with fine incision work. The face well detailed, the large bulging eyes with neatly incised pupils, the mouth agape revealing sharp teeth and a wrathful expression, flanked by elongated lobes with large earrings, the head surmounted by an elaborate foliate crown.

Provenance: From a distinguished Italian private collection, acquired between the late 1960s and early 1970s. Leonardo Vigorelli, Bergamo, acquired from the above. Leonardo Vigorelli is a retired Italian art dealer and noted collector, specializing in African and ancient Hindu-Buddhist art. After studying anthropology and decades of travel as well as extensive field research in India, the Himalayan region, Southeast Asia, and Africa, he founded the Dalton Somaré art gallery in Milan, Italy, which today is being run by his two sons.
Condition: Excellent condition, commensurate with age. Extensive wear, small losses, minor nicks and surface scratches, signs of weathering and erosion, structural cracks, encrustations. Fine, natural patina overall.

Dimensions: Height 62.8 cm

Guardian figures such as the present lot were placed aside of gateways, steps, and entrances of sacred areas like temples.

Koh Ker, which lies 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Angkor, was the capital of the Khmer Empire from 928-944. Koh Ker's sculptural style is thus distinct from those developed in Angkor's immediate vicinity. The stone sculpture, often monumental in size, is imbued with a heightened sense of movement and a suppleness of form. The Koh Ker rulers adhered to the Hindu religion, especially the Shaiva sect.

Hanuman is most prominently featured in the Indian epic Ramayana, which had gained popularity in Cambodia by the 600s. As a divine being, Hanuman has the power to augment or diminish his size at will, and so he grows to such a stature that he can span the ocean with a single stride.

Literature comparison:
Compare a closely related Koh Ker sandstone figure of Hanuman, 177.8 cm high, in the collection of the National Museum of Cambodia, inventory number NMC.259. Compare a related Koh Ker bronze figure of Hanuman, 15.2 cm high, in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, accession number 1987.43.

Auction result comparison:
Type: Related
Auction: Christie’s Paris, 7 June 2011, lot 381
Price: EUR 97,000 or approx. EUR 119,000 adjusted for inflation at the time of writing
Description: An important sandstone figure of a lion-headed guardian, Cambodia, Khmer, Koh Ker Style, mid-10th century
Expert remark: Compare the closely related pose and manner of carving, the guardian also holding a vajra in his hand. Note the size (84 cm).

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