Lot 47
Quick Zoom

15 in (38.1 cm) high


The J C Tandan Collection
Thence by descent

This red sandstone carving from Central India shows Ganga, the river goddess, accompanied by two attendants. Her voluptuous curves mark her status as a fertility goddess. On her right arm, she supports a purna kalash (water pot), a symbol for abundance in Hinduism. Her left arm is placed lightly on her thigh, mimicking a gesture called katyavilamvita, which can be seen in other examples of sandstone fragments from the 9th century (see Pal, Norton Simon Vol. I, p. 119). A long dupatta is draped around her. Her elaborate coiffure is entwined with jewels, which also adorn her ears. Ganga can be identified by her vehicle, the makara (river alligator) on which she stands. The alligator raises its snout, and its body is carved with vegetal motifs resembling waves. To her left are two attendants, one of whom holds a musical instrument. The attendant at the right holds a parasol made of lotus leaves over Ganga's head to "shield her mistress's head from the sun." (Pal, Norton Simon Vol. I, p. 158) In Indic iconography, the parasol is a symbol of authority. The vegetal and floral motifs which decorate the carving add to the sense of lush abundance that Ganga embodies.

The present lot has similarities with sculptures that frame the entrances to temples in North India. "Hindu temples customarily have such richly carved figural surrounds on the three sides of the main door leading into the shrine. The figures are usually oriented toward the entrance... and denote water symbolism as well as auspiciousness." (Pal, Norton Simon Vol. I, p. 119)

Other similar works in: this auction  |  entire site

  Lot 47 of 70  

14 DECEMBER 2015

Rs 10,00,000 - 15,00,000

Winning Bid
Rs 10,80,000
(Inclusive of Buyer's Premium)


Bidding is permitted in Indian rupees only. US dollar values shown, if any, are for reference.
Need help? Please check our guides on How to Bid. Auction Tips and FAQs.
Email auction@saffronart.com, delhi@saffronart.com Tel: (91 22) 2432 2898/2436 4113