Antefix with Five-headed Serpent
c. 1100
Asia: Thailand, Buriram; Asia: Thailand, Surin
On View

Symbols of abundance and fertility, multi-headed rearing serpents (nagas) are common decorative motifs found on both Hindu and Buddhist temples in mainland Southeast Asia. The central serpent of this antefix holds a garland of jewels in its mouth as both an offering to the icon housed within and as a reminder of the merit one can achieve through worship at the temple. This type of inward-leaning antefix was introduced to Khmer temples around 1100.


  • Title: Antefix with Five-headed Serpent
  • Date: c. 1100
  • Medium: Sandstone
  • Dimensions: overall: 42-1/2 x 21-1/2 x 21 in. (108 x 54.6 x 53.3 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1983.23.S
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art: Selections from the Norton Simon Museum, fig. 15 pp. 71-72
  • Bunker, Emma and Douglas Latchford, Adoration and Glory: Ancient Cambodian Sculpture, 2003, no. 87 pp. 254-255
  • Pal, Pratapaditya, Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Volume 3: Art from Sri Lanka & Southeast Asia, 2004, no. 107 pp. 108, 144-145
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1635 p. 429
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