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An image of Palanquin hook by


Palanquin hook
Place of origin
Cultural origin
Bayon style
12th century
Media category
Materials used
copper alloy with green patina

18.9 x 10.8 x 6.3 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
D G Wilson Bequest Fund 2000
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

This 'j-shaped' palanquin hook depicts a dwarf, or 'gana', riding a 'naga', or snake deity, and supporting the mythical bird Garuda on his shoulders. This highly stylised object was intricately crafted yet functional: it would have hung from the pole end of a palanquin (carriage). It is possible to reconstruct how such a piece may have been used by reference to the bas-reliefs at Angkor Wat, the Bayon and other temples where various procession scenes depict similar pieces in use on palanquins. The ornate, deeply incised and energetic surface decoration coupled with the vigorous projections convey the imminent explosion of a barely contained energy. Similar tension and fecundity is seen in stone architectural decoration and is characteristic of Khmer taste.

The Asian Collections, AGNSW, 2003, pg.312.

Bibliography (1)

Jackie Menzies (Editor), The Asian Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2003, 312 (colour illus.).