Inventory no.: 138

Antique Krishna & Radha, Bengal or Orissa, India


Brass Krishna & Radha Inlaid Silver & Copper

Orissa or Bengal, India

19th century

height: Krishna: 19 cm; Radha: 16.4 cm  


This exceptionally beautiful matching pair of solid cast brass figures of Krishna and Radha is amply inlaid with silver and copper and profusely chased to provide details of garments, hair and arm ornaments. The garments of both deities are particularly finely worked.

Each stands on a waisted lotus pedestal that is also chased and inlaid with silver and copper. The eyes, finger tips, hair fringes and waist bands are carefully inlaid with silver, some of which is further chased. Radha’s long hair is pulled into a single, long plait that is secured by a silver band falls down her back to her waist; her head sensitively tilts to one side.

Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, played his flute to attract and seduce the milk maids (

gopis). He is known as Venu-Gopala in this manifestation, or literally ‘the cowherd with the flute’. He is standing in padavastika, with one foot crossing the other, his upper body twisting slightly to the right. His hair is tied into a tight top-knot.

Both figures show little

puja wear. It is unusual for three metals – brass, silver and copper – to have been used in these figures. It is also unusual for Krishna to have retained his original flute. These features mark out this pair of votive figures as particularly rare and desirable.

Inventory no.: 138