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Tang Lokapalas

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Chinese: Pottery: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1055389

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Tang Lokapalas

Two Standing Lokapalas Lokapala, Sanskrit name for Heavenly King is one of the Kings of the Four Directions. In Buddhism, it represents a guardian king. During the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 – 907), figures of Lokapala are placed in the tomb as tomb guardians. The four Lokapalas are Visravana (Duo Wen Tian多闻天 or 毗沙门天), Virudhaka (Zeng Chang Tian 增長天), Dhatarastra (Chi Guo Tian 持国天), and Virupaksa (Guang Mu Tian 廣目天). In Buddhist art, each Lokapala is accompanied by his attributes. For example, Virupaksa (Guang Mu Tian) is easily identifiable by the pagoda held in his hand. However, in Tang Dynasty mingqi or burial goods, the identity of the Lokapalas is not well defined. The two lokapala are made of low fired pottery with traces of the original polychrome slip paintings. Each figure wore an elaborate headdress with a swan resting on the helmet’s top, and in full armor. The face has a fierce expression and his feet trample a demon clinging to the tall base. One of the hands is clenched in a fist and perhaps held a weapon when it was installed in the tomb. Both figures are 29 inches in height. One of the figures is tested by Oxford Authentication Ltd (Sample No. C205h93.) Three samples were taken and all of them yielded a similar result, and therefore consistent with pottery objects of the Tang Dynasty. Usual repairs from long time burial. 29 inches tall

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