Inventory no.: 553

553. Jain Bronze, India


Sumatinatha Five-Jina Image (Pancatirthi)

Jain Community, India

dated AD 1521

height: 15.1cm; length at base: 10.2cm

This bronze stela shows Sumatinatha, the fifth Tirthankara. It is inlaid with copper and silver. It is characteristic of a fifteenth century Jain bronze.

Sumatinatha, the principal Jina, is seated on a cushion in-laid with alternating lozenges of silver and copper on a

gaja-simhansa or elephant-lion throne. Together with the pair of standing jinas and two sitting jinas the central figure forms a ‘five-jina image’ or a pancatirthi. Other figures are attendants and celestial nymphs, some of which are seated while others stand.

The nine planets (

navagraha) are represented on the plinth in two groups – one of five and the other of four.

Rising above Sumatinatha is a triple parasol from which a pendant border of strings of pearls is suspended, and on top of which sits a narrow necked vase,the

kalasha. The arch of the thone is topped by another kalasha.

In addition to the cushion, Sumatinatha’s eyes, chest, the throne’s arch and the central

kalasha are all inlaid with lozenges of silver. The arch of the throne is also inlaid with a band of silver.

Although worn with

puja wear, a bird emblem can be seen carved into a small cartouche below Sumatinatha’s cushion – this is the identifying emblem for Sumatinatha.

There is a description on the reverse in Devanagari script and a date Vikrama Samvat 1578 (which corresponds with circa 1521 in the western calendar.)

Inventory no.: 553