8638

Enquiry about object: 8638

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    Cast Brass Five-Faced Shiva Yoni Lingam (Panca-mukhalinga)

    Northern India
    18th-19th century

    height: 5.1cm, width: 3.5cm, depth: 4.8cm, weight: 104g

    Sold

    Provenance

    UK art market

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    This small and unusual version of a five-faced Shiva lingam on a yoni base (panca-mukhalinga), shows the lingam cast with five faces rising from a yoni that is mounted on a platform. A hooded cobra rises over the ensemble in a protective manner.

    The five faces all look outwards. The faces represent Shiva’s five aspects: Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tatpurusha and Ishana. These encapsulate a range of interpretations such as five different directions, five classical elements, five divisions of the human body, five divisions of time, five senses of the humans, five different energies, five different colours.

    The panca-mukhalinga is in fine condition and has obvious age. It is an unusual subject for a bronze or brass image.

    References

    Pal, P., Art from the Indian Subcontinent: Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Yale University Press, 2003.

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