Two Brass Lotus Puja Lamps
India, 18th-19th century
These two lamps used for Hindu puja (prayer) purposes are in the form of lotus buds mounted on the backs of Nandi, the bull vehicle of Shiva and so are most likely associated with Shaivite worship.
In turn, each Nandi stands on a low puja stool or teapoy (bajoth). Such platforms are redolent of the thrones used in India by monarchs and also are in the form of those used in households to rest the household Hindi images on each morning whilst they are ritually bathed. The Nandis are held in place via a wing nut to the base of the bajoth.
The lotus bud is twisted around and as this is done, the petals open to reveal a small dish for oil into which a wick was rested. Once used, the petals are twisted around again so that they return to their bud state.
Inventory no.: 512