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    Sale 2271

    Indian and South East Asian Art: Including Highlights from the Star Collection

    20 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1428

    A monumental gray sandstone figure of a Dvarapala


    Price Realised  


    A monumental gray sandstone figure of a Dvarapala
    Khmer, Koh Ker style, 10th century
    The robust figure carved with broad shoulders and round belly adorned with waistband, armlets, and wide necklace, his benign face with a subtle smile, closely cropped beard and moustache, and open eyes, the hair drawn into a conical chignon secured with a foliate tiara
    51 in. (129.5 cm.) high

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    While apsaras are ubiquitous to the temples of Angkor, benign dvarapalas can often be found flanking doorways or protruding from corner brackets. Dvarapalas became integral to temple sculpture in India as early as the 5th century and appear in Cambodia in the earliest of the Angkor Empire's temples, the Roulos group, constructed around the turn of the 10th century. The Shaivite temples at Koh Ker are similar to these in their iconographical programs and architectural structures.

    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 present example exhibits the "dynamic equilibrium" that, for Boisselier, characterizes the sculpture of Koh Ker; see J. Boisselier, Asie du Sud-Est, 1966, p. 248, and compare with a pair of kneeling male figures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in M. Lerner and S. Kossak, 'The Arts of South and Southeast Asia', The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Spring 1994, ill. p. 14.


    Spink and Son, Ltd., London, 1990s
    Christie's New York, 20 September 2000, lot 160

    Pre-Lot Text