Antique Khmer Bronze Mounted Koh Ker Style Yaksha Temple Guardian - 56cm / 22"
Measures (Height) 56cm/22"
An antique Khmer style bronze Yaksha or Guardian in 10th century Koh Ker style.
The Yakshas are a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, but sometimes mischievous or capricious, connected with water, fertility, trees, the forest, treasure and wilderness. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist texts, as well as ancient and medieval era temples of South Asia and Southeast Asia as guardian deities.
In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist texts, the yaksha has a dual personality. On the one hand, a yaksha may be an inoffensive nature-fairy, associated with woods and mountains; but there is also a darker version of the yaksha, which is a kind of ghost that haunts the wilderness and waylays and devours travellers, similar to the raksasas.
As is traditional, this image of Yaksha is defined by bulging eyes and fangs emanating from the mouth. The Yaksha has a curvy moustache, stippled beard and ear with scalloped inner rim. The hair is dressed in a tiered chignon in the Koh Ker style. A diadem surrounds the chignon.
In one hand Yaksha holds his demon-subduing cudgel or staff.
He is clothed in a sampot draped in the Koh Ker can kpin style with a semi-circular fold falling from the upper border, and a double double fishtail pendant in front this is formed by the extremities of the scarf.
The Cleveland Museum of Art - 1972.221
New York Metropolitan Museum Collection - Accession Number: 1987.142.15 Christie's Auction House - Sale 13482 (May 2016) - The Dani & Anna Ghigo Collection: Part I: South East Asian, Himalayan and Indian Works of Art
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