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Antique Chinese White Marble
Lokapala
Tomb Guardian

Origin: China. Circa: late Ming, 17th century
h.24 in.(61cm) X w.14 in.(35cm) X d.5.5 in.(14cm)
Condition: excellent!

With only a small chip to the rectangular base, this marble statue found near the Beijin area in the early 90s' is in an excellent state of preservation, which makes it difficult to identify its exact age. Nevertheless, his close proximity and his close resemblance to the guardians of the 16th century Ming tomb in Changping Xian, Hebei province verifies his disposition. In most likelihood he was designed as a guardian for the tomb of an imperial family member, or a sovereign in the late Ming Dynasty.

Firmly standing legs apart, this commanding Chinese general is dressed in military armor detailed with scale patterns, a monster mask, and a scarf halo that indicates the protective and ritual aspects of his functions. Furthermore, the long sceptor laid across his forearms, and his joining hands in adoration gesture, verifies that he is a Dharmapala. Although his calmly contemplative expression differs from the ferocious Dharmapalas standing guard in front of Buddhist temple gates, we surmise that he was guardian of the inner chamber, a protected area where centuries can passed with no disturbances until excavated.

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