Khmer/Thai Sandstone Double-Side Wheel of Buddhist Law (Dharmachakra), Mon-Dvaravati, 9th /10th Century. - For Sale

Khmer/Thai Sandstone Double-Side Wheel of Buddhist Law (Dharmachakra), Mon-Dvaravati, 9th /10th Century.
Price: $9000.00
Khmer/Thai Sandstone Double-Side Wheel of Buddhist Law (Dharmachakra), Mon-Dvaravati, 9th /10th Century.

Closing Sale

The Dharmachakra is on a stout double lotus base. The decorative carving is in low relief;

The Wheel of Law or dharmachakra in Sanskrit, is one of the earliest and most significant of Buddhist emblems. Its association with Buddhism can be traced to the first sermon of Gautama Buddha (c.556-c.486 B.C.), in the Deer Park at Sarnath, near Benares in modern Uttar Pradesh. The setting in motion of the symbolic wheel embodies, and through its revolutions propagates the Buddhist doctrine has thus, a pivotal event in the history of Buddhism, been variously commemorated in sculptural form. Depictions of this scene are first found during the Kushan period in India, notably in Gandharan sculptures of the 2nd /4th century A.D. However, the actual chakra emblem predates any human representation of the Buddha and is found, along with other emblems indicative of the Buddha, during the Sunga and Maurya periods in the 3rd /1st centuries B.C. However, as the anthropoid Buddhist image evolved in India in the early centuries A.D., the earlier symbolism took a secondary role and is only found infrequently in later sculptures.

The Mons were an Indo-Burmese people who came under the hegemony of the Dvaravati kingdom of southern Thailand between the sixth and the tenth century. The Mon-Dvaravati kingdom became the center of dispersal of Hinayana Buddhism in South-East Asia and its craftsmen produced some of the most remarkable monumental stone sculptures in Thailand or Burma. The style of the Buddha figures borrows heavily from Indian sculptures of the Gupta period, and elements of this period, the column capitals in particular, are also employed in the decoration on the wheel. Uniquely in Thailand, wheels of this type were produced during this period, the few surviving examples including three in the National Museum, Bangkok.

The strengths of this example, which relates closely to the largest of the three in the National Museum, Bangkok, lie in its rarity, quality of execution and size. It is thought that these wheels may have been displayed on pillars in temple compounds, as powerful Buddhist emblems.

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Chet Roman
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Email : chetroman@gmail.com
Phone : 970 556-0412

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