This well carved wooden block from the Hindu island of Bali in Indonesia would have served as a pillar base (sendi tugeh) at an entrance of an open-walled pavilion, most probably in a temple compound.
Of much sculptural beauty, it has tapering sides. All four sides have been elaborately carved in high relief and coloured in red and white ochres, with traces of gold highlights.
The two principle sides are carved with central karang tapel monster masks with bulging eyes and fanged teeth. These are framed by four karang asti (garuda-like heads with long beaks lined with teeth). The two ends are carved with central one-eyed karang bintulu motifs.
A square cavity runs through into the centre of the support to allow the post to be inserted.
See Ramseyer (1977, fig. 97 & 98) for related sendi tugeh with similar karang motifs.
The example here has a superb patina consistent with considerable age. It is sculptural and highly decorative.
Above: A related sendi tugeh displayed in the Bali Museum, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
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Maxwell, R. et al, Bali: Island of the Gods, National Gallery of Australia, 2014.
Ramseyer, U., The Art and Culture of Bali, Oxford University Press, 1977.