This image of Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity, has been carved from a single piece of rock crystal, either in Nepal or northern India. The figure has been carved seated with the usual pot belly, with four arms, a trunk that curls to the figure’s right, a round crown, and with a rounded aureole behind the head, the back of which has been carved with a six-petalled flower.
The upper two arms each hold an attribute, a lower hand is in a gesture of greeting, and the other holds a butterball. Ganesh wears a pleated waist cloth.
Ganesh is a popular deity and is known as ‘the remover of obstacles’.
There is a tradition in the Kathmandu Valley of carving religious items from rock crystal. Such items were made for the local, Tibetan and Indian markets.
The image is in fine condition and free of any losses.
Dursum, B., et al, Change and Continuity: Folk and Tribal Art of India, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, 2004.
Pal, P., Art of Tibet, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1990.
Pal, P., Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure, The Art Institute of Chicago, 2004.