Mon Dvaravati stucco head

Head of a divinity

North central Thailand

8th-9th century

Mon Dvaravati period

This stucco head with smiling mouth, downcast eyes and subtly executed expression is a classic example of the spontaneity Dvaravati artists were able to achieve when working in a plastic material opposed to the stone and bronze used to produce objects of principal worship. It is likely to have been part of a semi architectural scheme decorating a temple or burial stupa.

Stand inscribed on base.

-Sotheby’s, London 1996 (£3250)

Note the previous lot was also from RH and is now in the possession of the Victoria and Albert Museum London.

-Robert Haines can no doubt be considered one of the most influential Australian connoisseurs and taste makers of his generation. After resigning in disgust as the director of the Brisbane Art Gallery (1951-60) when they considered selling a painting to raise funds he was approached to take over the David Jones Gallery. Apart from 18th century furniture, classical marbles and impressionist paintings the objects to cause the most impact were the  pieces of Southeast Asian sculpture he was inspired to deal in and collect after visiting the Musée Guimet.

-Jim Thompson, an architect and one time CIA agent fell in love with south East Asia when he was posted there in 1945. In 1948 after living Bangkok for two years he co-founded “The Thai Silk Company” which single handedly revived the industry. Jims most personal project was the “House on the Klong”, his last major architectural undertaking specifically built to house his unrivalled collection. Constructed from fragments of demolished buildings, work started in 1958 and took over a year to complete. His academic approach and quest for genuine objects has become an important cornerstone of learning  in a previously highly under researched field. Thompson disappeared in 1968 but his house lives on in the form of a museum dedicated to his collection

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