4019

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South Indian Bronze Nandi

South India
circa 16th century

length: 8.5cm, height: 8.5cm, width: 4.2cm

Available - Ask about this item

Provenance

UK art market

This well-proportioned image of Nandi, the vahana of Shiva, is made of cast and bronze. The fine detailing includes numerous processional ornaments such as multiple chains of bells and other decorations. It is based on a Brahman or Zebu cow, the South Indian cow with a prominent hump on its back.

The image is seated on a rectangular multi-tiered platform befitting its exalted status. Nandi images often are placed at the entrance of Shiva temples. They have long been associated with fertility, illustrated by the custom of worshippers touching the testicles of such images as they enter the temple, particularly if they wish to expand their family.

The image’s features and contours have been softened by handling and puja (prayer) wear. It has a wonderful chocolate-brown patina, and a very pleasing shape.

The image is in fine condition. There are no repairs or losses.

References

Mitchell, A.G., Hindu Gods and Goddesses, UBSPD, 1982.

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