**Originally Listed At $1200**
Southeast Asia, Thailand, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A pair of tremendous chofas (sometimes cho-fa or chofah), dramatic wooden carvings shaped like sinuous flames that serve as finials on Thai temples. Both are made from a pale-brown colored hardwood, probably teak, that has weathered and aged to have a gorgeous patina, dark in some places, with a good deal of remaining red pigment. The curved side of each has a round inlay of a green glass disc. Size of largest (they are approximately the same): 66" H (167.6 cm); 76.5" H (194.3 cm) on included custom stand.
These items were designed to be placed onto a roof edge or apex of a temple, transforming the structure into a large piece of sculpture and emphasizing mythological concepts. Flame-like projections like these suggest the fins of the mystical serpent, the naga, and the feathers of the mythical bird, the garuda, or possibly a form of the hamsa, the goose or swan that is the mount of the Hindu god Brahma. The word chofa can be translated to "bunch of sky" or "tassel of sky" and the sweeping, ornate roofs of bots (congregation halls for monks) and vihans (worship halls) are not considered consecrated until the addition of chofas.
Provenance: private Boulder, Colorado, USA collection, acquired at Indochine Gallery, Boulder, Colorado, USA
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