Indian Palace DoorPosted March 01 2012
The Indian palace door featured in the eastern goods collection was imported by Lawrence & Scott in 1977. It is carved of a few enormous pieces of solid teak that are that are fitted together. Brass fittings hang from the cornice and adorn the operable "French" doors. The frieze is truly a 3-dimensional masterpiece where the single piece of wood from which it was carved remains inter-connected.
The carving detail that extends to the bottom become more fine and the precision of the carver is only highlighted.
Based upon scholarship completed in 1978 and recent research, we know the carvings are related to Vijayanagara temple pillars, which often have engravings of charging horses or hippogryphs (horses standing on hind legs with their fore legs lifted and riders on their backs) similar to The Srirangam Horses. We have yet to determine the exact palace from which the door came although it has been assumed that its “museum quality" and details are evidence of its association with the great king Krishnadeva Raya (reign 1509-1529) of Vijayanagara in Andhra Pradesh about 200 miles from Madras.
Seeing the door in situ offers the best experience to truly appreciate what has been quietly standing in Seattle for decades. If you can believe it, we also have in the collection a second Indian palace door with surround that is of lesser dimensions.