• Indian and Southeast Asian Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2195

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    16 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 758

    An important black granite figure of Nandi


    Price Realised  


    An important black granite figure of Nandi
    South India, Chola period, circa 13th century
    Finely carved reclining with his front right leg extended on an oval plinth, richly adorned with a belled harness, necklaces, armlets and headdress, his head held upright with large eyes and protruding ears, his large horns atop his head
    17 x 24 in. (43.2 x 61 cm.)

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    Nandi is Shiva's mount and the gate keeper of Shiva in Hindu mythology. He is seen as full of "joy" (nandi) in the presence of his master. An image of controlled virility and devotion, he would typically be placed in front of a Shiva temple facing a shrine. Dating from the 13th century, this is a masterpiece of carving in the hard granite typically used in South India. The animal is masterfully observed reclining with its legs tucked under, richly caparisoned with pendants, yet sculpturally transformed into a timeless and iconic representation of power and devotion; for another example, in the Denver Art Museum, see S. Kramrisch, Manifestations of Shiva, 1981, p. 26, cat. no. 24.


    Acquired in New York before 1970

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Manheim