Central Asia, Tibet, ca. 17th century CE. A rare, colorful, and dramatic gilded and painted bronze head of a Makara. The makara is a mythical sea creature who is often depicted with the frontal part as an elephant or other terrestrial animal and his tail as an aquatic animal. Here he is portrayed with bulging eyes, two large, protruding horns, and a mass of relief feathers/scales; his exaggerated nose resembles the trunk of an elephant and contributes to the fantastical nature of the beast. Two rows of sharp teeth are visible in his mouth, while a goatee hangs from his chin. Whiskers and eyebrows are attached, painted red and orange respectively. The gilding on the snout, forehead, and ears, contrasts with the green paint used on the feathers and the white, black, and red used to make the eyes look particularly fierce. This item was likely once part of a larger figure or may have served as a finial. Size: 5.5" W x 9.5" H (14 cm x 24.1 cm); 12.45" H (31.6 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: ex-private Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA collection
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