In ancient Indo-Tibetan cosmology, makara are sea-monsters that balance the universe on their backs as they move through the cosmic ocean. The mythical creature combines the jaws of a crocodile, trunk of an elephant and lion's paws.
The pair to this makara, facing right, is published by R. Fisher, Art of Tibet, 1997, fig. 113. Apart from the garuda in the previous lot, no other examples in this splendidly fanciful and elaborate style appear to be published; likely they all originally formed part of the same massive throne back for a large sculpture.