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A sandstone Torso of Shiva
A sandstone Torso of Shiva


A sandstone Torso of Shiva
Khmer, Angkor Period, Baphuon style, 11th century
Sensitively carved in the round standing with his left leg slightly advanced, his face with a serene expression, his full lips in a soft smile with incised beard and moustache, the heavy-lidded eyes with incised pupils gazing ahead and the third eye incised on the forehead, the finely braided hair gathered in a domed topknot, wearing a short sampot with an overlapping stylized pocketfold tied at the waist and a butterfly knot at the back, the surface retaining its smooth polish
24 5/8 in. (62.5 cm) high
J.J. Klejman, New York, acquired 5 December 1973

Lot Essay

Christian H. Fischbacher was born in 1913, the oldest son and heir of a Swiss family business with a long tradition. The Fischbacher company, founded in 1819 and based in St. Gallen, specialized in the trade with gray fabrics, mainly mousseline. Christian renounced a possible career in this parents' firm and emigrated to America at the age of 22.
In 1937 he founded his own company in New York, dealing in fabrics but also creating and marketing his own collection. When the Second World War disrupted the fabric trade, he bought a farm in New Jersey to make a living from chicken, pig and cattle breeding and especially from dairy production.
After the war he returned to New York and re-established his fabric trading and publishing company. When his father died in 1953, he returned to Switzerland. The family business subsequently profited not only from the economic post-war boom but also from the newly-created department, which - as formerly in New York and to this day in Switzerland - designs, produces and markets its own fabric collections. Fischbacher had a highly developed aesthetic sensitivity that was used to great effect in his design studio and in continuing the family tradition of collecting art. The family had focused mainly on Swiss art of the 19th century and a significant collection of works by Giovanni Segantini was donated to the Segantini Museum in St. Moritz. The winter-sports resort had long become Fischbacher's second home. Here he participated in his beloved skeleton races. In 1948, he was a member of the Swiss Olympic team and later appointed Honorary Life President of the Cresta Club St. Moritz.
As an art collector Fischbacher focused on the 20th century, with an emphasis on constructivist and constructive art, spanning Rodchenko to Schwitters. On his travels around the world he discovered his love for India and Southeast Asia. Perhaps among his greatest loves was Khmer sculpture - it's refinement and sensitivity matched the most critical discernment of a man of many interests who's company strives to produce only the finest products.

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