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Palanquin hook

Angkor Vat or Bayon period, late 12th-13th century

Bronze cast by the lost wax method

H 28cm x W 19cm  (Weight: 2 kg)

Private Collection Milan, Italy

Collection Gallery Hachmeister M√ľnster



Detailed and openwork bronze fitting, part of a palanquin, that was used for transport by the Khmer during the 12 and 13th centuries.   

Garuda figures with spread wings (half man/half bird, vehicle of Vishnu) and Naga rise up from a bunch of lotus leaves. The hook ends in the shape of an adorned deity,  holding a Naga with her two hands.

The hook has a socket through wihich the wooden palanquin rod was inserted. Traces of iron oxidation testify to an iron ring inside that was added to strengthen the hook. The palanquin hook would have been attached to a cloth piece that formed the palanquin seat in which people of high esteem have been carried.

The bronze has been cast by the lost-wax process.

The lively aspect of the hook is indebted to the movement of the figures, the Garuda figure, the elaborate lotus decoration, all well placed in a balanced composition. The hook is in a good state of conservation with a wonderful green brown patina.

Khmer royalty and aristocracy were carried in wood and wicker palanquins which were typically suspended from a transverse carrying pole with decorative bronze hooks.

 

 

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