Lot 52
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14.5 in (36.6 cm) high


Property from an Important Family Collection

Vamana is the fifth avatar of Vishnu, in which he assumes the form of a dwarf. This rare, intricately carved Vamana from what is now Rajasthan, wears a closely-fitted garment secured at the waist by a strand of pearls and bejewelled belt. On his chest is the srivatsa, a symbol that is distinctive of Vishnu. He wears an upavita or sacred thread and is decked in jewellery, including necklaces, arm bands and waist bands. He holds a rosary in his right hand. Vamana's tight curls are a feature rarely seen among the holy trinity, and this elaborate coiffure crowns a gentle, smiling countenance. Standing on a lotus pedestal, Vamana is flanked by a couple bowing in admiration. Two female attendants with bouffant hairdos tend to him, and a male attendant with an elaborate hairstyle is seen by his side. A similar Vamana is on display at the Albert Hall Museum in Jaipur.

Vishnu as Vamana is not often worshipped as a separate deity and there are very few temples dedicated to him. Vishnu is said to have assumed the avatar of Vamana to keep the power of the asuras in check at the behest of the devas. Bali, an asura king known for his benevolence, had assumed disproportionate powers and was perceived as a threat by the devas. Approaching Bali as Vamana, Vishnu requested that he grant him just the land that he could cover in three strides. Considering the dwarf-sized Vamana, the king happily agreed. Vamana grew in size and with his first stride, he covered the entire earth. His second stride covered the heavens. Not knowing where to place his foot for a third stride, he turned to Bali, who offered him his own head. Vishnu thus sends him into the netherworld with the third step. However, impressed with Bali's humility, Vishnu granted him a boon: that he would be allowed to visit his kingdom every year, and he would be reborn as the ruler of the heavens.

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  Lot 52 of 87  

10-11 APRIL 2018

Rs 30,00,000 - 50,00,000
$46,875 - 78,125

Winning Bid
Rs 2,01,12,384
(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)


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