4486

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Bronze Garuda Lamp Stand

Himachal Pradesh, Northern India
17th-18th century

height: 13.8cm, diameter: 11.4cm

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Provenance

UK art market

This lamp stand is of bronze or brass that has developed a superb, chocolate-brown patina. It comprises a figure of Garuda, with prominent, flared wings, kneeling on one knee and with hands clasped in anjali mudra. A cobra with its hood open is at Garuda’s left knee. The nose of Garuda has been portrayed as a beak.

A parrot is cast to the deity’s back and from this rises a stem which opens to a lotus bud. The bowl of the lamp screws into this. The interior of the bowl is engraved with a central lotus flower and an outer rim of petals.

This form of Garuda beneath a lamp is typical of Himachal Pradesh, in India’s north. Related examples are illustrated in Postel et al (1984, figs 275-280). Pal (2003, p. 59) illustrates an example in the Norton Simon Museum of similar form and size, which is inscribed with a date that is equivalent to 1521. This suggests that our example might be even earlier than the 17th-18th century dating that we have ascribed to it.

Overall, this is a fine and pleasing sculpture in excellent condition and with a lovely, deep patina.

References

Pal, P., Art from the Indian Subcontinent: Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Yale University Press, 2003.

Postel, M., A. Neven & K. Mankodi, Antiquities of Himachal, Project for Indian Cultural Studies, Volume 1, Bombay, 1985.

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