4573

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Gilded Silver Devotional Plaque with Tara in Lapis Lazuli & other semi-Precious Stones

Nepal
18th-19th century

height: 9.2cm, width: 9cm, weight: 125g

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Provenance

European antique market

This fine devotional plaque produced by Newar craftsmen in Nepal is of gilded or gold-plated silver and has been set with lapis lazuli, turquoise, rubies and garnets, and rock crystal. Most of the stones show a degree of basic faceting. This plaque might have been used as the front of a ga’u box, or it might have served some other purpose. Certainly, plaques set with semi-precious stones of all sizes and for use in many ways in association with worship were produced in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal.

The central figure shows Tara with four arms and whose body comprises several large pieces of carved and engraved lapis lazuli. The deity sits between two lotus blooms marked out in turquoise and with large central rubies or garnets. She sits on a lotus petal throne made of rock crystal. She also has silver-gilt jewellery set with rubies and garnets including a long necklace, which is attached to the shoulders by means of small segments of wire.

The plaque is in a fine and stable condition. There are the few usual losses to the stones but overwhelmingly, they are intact and original. It is a fine piece.

References

Bromberg, A., et al., The Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas: At the Dallas Museum of Art, Yale University Press, 2013.

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