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Miniature Shaivaite Shrine
Maharashtra, India
18th-19th century

height: 9.6cm, width: 6.5cm, depth: 6.5cm

The compact, cast brass shrine, mounted on a pedestal represents the theme of Shiva-linga worship. Variouis members of the Shaivite 'family' are present
around a central shiva-lingam. They are Ganesh, Hanuman, Krishna, Anapurna and Nandi. The scene is complete with an aureole with a leafy border, and
against which rears a multi-headed cobra which provides a protective canopy to the shiva-lingam.

The shrine has a flared, square base with pierced sides, a serrated skirted edge, and four, short feet.

Scores of such shrines have come from the small towns and villages of Maharashtra indicating that these were popular objects of worship in domestic shrines.
It is customary that the domestic shrines are regularly tended with daily worship and offerings.

The aureole is missing several of its lower leaves on one side bit otherwise is complete. Despite, the naive presentation, this small bronze is remarkable for its
detail and its harmony of composition.

The shrine is from the Maharashtra area (the region that takes in Mumbai/Bombay.) Such shrines are rarely encountered.

References:
Aryan, K.C., Folk Bronzes: Of North Western India, Rekha Prakashan, 1973.

Dursum, B.,
et al, Change and Continuity: Folk and Tribal Art of India, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, 2004.

Provenance: private collection, London.

Inventory no.: 4249

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