• Indian and Southeast Asian Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2195

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    16 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 756

    A black stone stele of Mahavira

    NORTHEASTERN INDIA, PALA PERIOD, CIRCA 9TH/10TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A black stone stele of Mahavira
    Northeastern India, Pala period, circa 9th/10th century
    Seated on a double-lotus base over a stepped lion throne, the srivastava at his chest, the face flanked by elongated earlobes and backed by a nimbus, with an attendant carrying a fly whisk on either side and celestial creatures above, the back plate centered by a seated figure, with devotees and an inscription at the front of base
    30 in. (76.3 cm.) high


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    The inscription on the base includes the name "Srivardhamanadevah," or Vardhamana, another name for the 24th and last Jain tirthankara, Mahavira. Mahavira was born of royalty in Bihar. While still in gestation, it is believed the kingdom's wealth and natural beauty increased, hence the name "Vardhaman," which means an increase of all good things.

    Provenance

    Acquired in New York by 1969


    Literature

    I. Fradd, Gods of India, Guild Hall Museum, New York, cat. no. 18


    Exhibited

    On loan to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, from 1971-2009 (L69.34.1)
    Guild Hall, New York, Gods of India, 1 December, 1979 - 26 February, 1980