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This pair of high-grade-silver deer are from India and were made to adorn a shrine devoted to Krishna or some other deity. They were either play things for Krishna, or used by the deities to ‘ride’ on at night.
Their religious aspect is suggested by the purity of the silver that has been used to fashion them.
Each stands on a rectangular base, and has a set of antlers.
They appear to be based on the Indian hog deer (Hyelaphus porcinus) which has a solid, thick body and short antlers.
The two are similar but not the same – each has been handmade individually.
Similar silver model animals are illustrated in Terlinden (1987, p. 178).
The examples here are in excellent condition and the silver has a lovely patina.
Terlinden, C., Mughal Silver Magnificence, Antalga, 1987.