Chofa Sculpture, Ornamental Wood Finial on Temple Roofs, Thailand, 19th century

Antique Chofa sculpture, highly carved and ornamental finial that graced a roof ridge of a traditional temple. The elegant shape of the carved body may also be thought of as representing a garuda, a Hindu mythical bird who assists the God Vishnu, or it could represent a snake or naga. In Thai tradition there is another placement of the naga, this one comes directly from the Buddha himself, at the ends of handrails, especially at the main entry. 

Most of the paint is gone and a piece in the middle "horn" is missing; both losses do not detract from the elegance of the piece, mounted on a metal stand to better show it.

Wood, Thailand, 19th Century.