12 th Century AD
6.25″ (15.9cm) high x 3.75″ (9.5cm) wide
A bronze figure of Vishvakarman, the celestial architect, seated in a half-kneeling posture on a rectangular base. As architect to the gods and patron of craftsmen, he holds an axe in his right hand, resting the weight on his right shoulder. In his left hand he grasps a noose between his thumb and forefingers. The deity is sumptuously adorned with a tiered headdress and elaborate jewellery, including spiral earrings, arm bands, necklace and anklets. His lower body is clothed in a striated sampot. Vishvakarman was unknown in the Cambodian world before the twelfth century; his name is first recorded in a stele inscription of 1191 at Preah Khan in Angkor (associated with Jayavarman VII). Primarily a Hindu deity associated with Indra, he was also popular with Cambodian Buddhists in the 12th and 13th centuries.
For a comparative example see E. C. Bunker and D. Latchford. ‘Adoration and Glory: The Golden Age of Khmer Art,’ (Chicago, 2004), pp. 275- 277, No. 95. (AM) – (SF.115)