Cambodian / Palanquin Fittings / Angkor period, 12th centuryCambodian
Palanquin Fittings
Angkor period, 12th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Southeast Asian; Cambodian
Creator Name-CRT: Cambodian
Title: Palanquin Fittings
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1199
Creation Date: Angkor period, 12th century
Creation Place: Cambodia
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ornaments
Materials and Techniques: Copper alloy
Dimensions: Hooks, H. 9 in. (22.9 cm); Ring, H. 6 in. (15.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.070.1-3
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Context: The study of Cambodian and Thai art dating from the 10th to 14th centuries is primarily the study of the civilization and culture of the Khmer empire. The Khmers inhabited and controlled parts of mainland Southeast Asia from the 6th century onward. Historically, they are best known for the era called the Angkor period (c. 802-1431), named for the Khmer capital. Angkor remains one of the most remarkable cities in world history and is noted for the vast number of breathtaking monuments constructed there from the 10th to 13th centuries. These structures range from relatively small temples to the gigantic temple mountains of Baphuon and Angkor Wat. Most of the temples are profusely decorated, and Khmer art is generally dated by reference to such monuments, with classifications such as "Baphuon style."

These three bronze fittings, most likely used to embellish a wooden palanquin, follow the style of decoration found on the famous temple mountain of Angkor Wat. Although stone and bronze sculptures are the best-known forms of Cambodian art, evidence exists, such as these fittings, for a well-developed and highly sophisticated art of metalwork that served the functional and decorative needs of the court and aristocracy. Each of these fittings is made of a shell-like section topped with a stylized flower, probably a lotus. Two of the fittings have hooks that resemble the stalks and leaves of the lotus; comparison with other objects of this type suggests that these hooks may once have held rings. The lack of volume in the floral decoration found on these fittings parallels the linearity found on 12th-century sculptures.

Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 35.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.070.1-3
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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