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Lot 0051
Southeast Asia, Northern Thailand, ca. mid-19th century CE. An exceptional gold-leafed and mirrored Garuda figure, finely carved from teak wood and lavishly covered with gold gilding and myriad colored (red, green, and white) circular cut mirror embellishments. Custom block mount. Size: 9.75" W x 23.625" H (24.8 cm x 60 cm); 24.875" H (63.2 cm) on stand

The form is wonderfully dramatic with its fluttering wings, opulent vestments, and expressive visage comprised of bulging red eyes framed with thick sinuous brows, a prominent curved beak that is open so as to reveal the red mouth, and flame ears, all gilded and bedecked with mirror details. Garuda is a mythical avian creature, a somewhat humanoid bird (note the human hands and standing pose in combination with the undeniable bird characteristics of this figure), important in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology, representing the enlightened mind and by extension signifying unborn and never-ending possibilities. In Buddhist mythology, Garuda are the brilliant gold-winged Peng birds that possess great intelligence, and most impressively, have the ability to grow quite large or quite small, to appear and disappear. They are known for their brilliant wings which are believed to span miles and miles. According to legend, when Garuda's wings flap, hurricane-like winds dramatically blow down shelters and darken the skies; this narrative stemming from tales of golden-winged Peng birds, believed to dry up the seas with one flap of their wings in order to devour the exposed dragons residing in the waters. In Thailand, one variant of Garuda called Khrut Pha (meaning "Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu") is used as a symbol of the royal family. What's more, statues and imagery of Garuda are featured at many Thai Buddhist temples, and Garuda has become the cultural symbol of Thailand. A marvelous piece manifesting simultaneously as a magnificent anamorphic and divine being.

Provenance: Ex-Private Boulder, CO collection acquired at Indochine Gallery

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Missing flame finial. Losses and bending to peripheries of wings and arm-wings. Old repair to back of red pedestal. Age cracks and surface wear with minor losses to gilding and applied wooden and mirrored details commensurate with age.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

19th C. Thai Gilt / Mirrored Wood Garuda – 24”H

Estimate $7,000 - $9,000Mar 15, 2017
Louisville, CO, USA