6332

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Chased Indian Silver Ritual Temple Hand Fan

India, probably Rajasthan
late 19th century

length of handle: 37.8cm, width: 17.8cm, weight: 469g

Available - Enquire

Provenance

UK art market

This solid silver fan would have been used ritually in a temple and in temple processions, usually to fan bronze images of Krishna and other idols, in keeping with the practice of treating such images as if they are living.

The blade is chased on one side with scrolling foliage and flower motifs. The edges are scalloped and decorated with clusters of pendant silver bells.

The handle has a pivot mechanism to allow the head to turn backwards and forwards to provide the desired breeze.

The handle is chased with acanthus leaf motifs and both ends have finials.

Silver was considered a ‘pure’ metal and thus appropriate for use in a ritual, particularly among wealthier temples.

A related brass fan is illustrated in Aryan & Ayran (2016, p. 181).

The example here is in excellent condition.

References

Aryan, S. & B.N. Ayran, Unknown Masterpieces of Indian Folk and Tribal Art, KC Aryan’s Home of Folk Art, 2nd & enlarged ed., 2016.

Hutt, J. et al, Fans from the East, Debrett/V&A, 1978.

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