Enquiry about object: 9052
Indian Cast Image of the Standing Annapurna inlaid with Gold & Red Stones
Deccan, Maharashtra or perhaps Orissa. India 17th-18th century
height: 12.3cm, width: 5.2cm, depth: 5.2cm, weight: 301g
UK art market
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This cast brass image of Annapurna, a manifestation of Parvati, the wife of Shiva, shows the deity standing in Tribanga on a triangular platform atop a lotus plinth. Standing images of Annapurna are comparatively rare; almost always the goddess is shown seated.
The example here shows Annapurna with a high chignon atop her head, large round earrings, and other jewellery. A long plait of hair falls down her back.
Various details such as the eyes (including a third eye), fringe, chest ornaments, have been inlaid with gold. Some of this has been further augmented with the insetting of red stone cabochons, possibly garnets.
A cooking ladle is held upright in the right hand. A cooking bowl or pot is held in the left hand.
The back of the dais has a support for some kind of backing plate or aureole which no longer is present.
Annapurna is the Hindu goddess associated with cooking, food and nourishment and so her identifying attribute is a large spoon or ladle.
The deity is particularly revered in the pilgrimage city of Benares (Varanasi) on the Ganges, and her large ladle is associated with feeding pilgrims.
The image has much ritual prayer (puja) wear, and would have been kept on a household shrine, probably in the kitchen.
Aryan, S. & B.N. Ayran, Unknown Masterpieces of Indian Folk and Tribal Art, KC Aryan’s Home of Folk Art, 2nd & enlarged ed., 2016.
Aryan, K.C., Folk Bronzes: Of North Western India, Rekha Prakashan, 1973.
Dursum, B., et al, Change and Continuity: Folk and Tribal Art of India, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, 2004.