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Primitive Carved Bone Figure of Singhalese King

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Asian: Indian Subcontinent: Sri Lanka: Pre 1837 VR: item # 795716

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Silk Road Gallery
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Branford, Connecticut 06405, USA
(203) 208-0771

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$150

Primitive Carved Bone Figure of Singhalese King
From the old capital of Kandy in the hill country of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, this primitive bone carving represents a Singhalese king. Carving on the face and upper body of the figure is quite primitive and contrasts with finer detailing in the swirling patterns on the long skirt, which ends in carved, comb-like teeth. The surface of the large, heavy bone is darkened with age except for one area on the right near the hand, which is white and worn smooth. This suggests it was used as an implement of some sort, and while a comb would be an obvious guess, its size, weight and squared-off teeth would have made its use for that purpose very awkward. We are unable to quote with certainty a date for this unusual piece. Judging from its subject and condition, and the fact that faked aging has not been prevalent in Sri Lanka, we place it in the early 19th or late 18th century, although it could be older. Two of the teeth are broken, otherwise it is in good condition. Dimensions: height 12" (30 cm), width 6-1/2" (16 cm), depth (at crown) 2" (5 cm).


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