This finely carved and highly detailed ivory lion almost certainly is from Orissa, and most probably would have been part of a throne or chair. The form and patina of the ivory suggest an earlier dating – 15th or 16th century.
The lion rears up and has been carved with much detail.
Ivory throne of chair legs and other elements that come from fifteenth to seventeenth century Orissa survive in museums in considerable numbers. Typically they are carved with rearing elephants and lions and are particularly dynamic in terms of their rendering of these animals. The portrayal of these animals no doubt was meant to symbolise the power of the king.
The form of this lion and the aged colour and patina of the ivory can be compared with a corner piece of a throne carved with a lion’s head that is attributed to fifteenth century Orissa, now in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and illustrated in Pal (1981, p. 85.)
The example here has been mounted on a custom-made perspex stand.: from a private European collection since around 1970.
Pal, P.,Elephants and Ivories in South Asia, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1981.