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A Rare Bronze Figure of Indra
A Rare Bronze Figure of Indra


A Rare Bronze Figure of Indra
Nepal, circa 11th Century
The figure seated on a rounded cushion patterned with floral medallions in diamond reserves, with legs crossed in openwork and modeled underneath, holding a vajra, wearing a dhoti incised with banded patterns, adorned with jewelry inset with hardstones, the hair braided into a high chignon on reverse
8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm.) high
Collection of Prince and Princess Aschwin zur Lippe-Biesterfeld, acquired in 1965.

Lot Essay

The graceful modeling, serene expression, and harmoniously balanced composition of this bronze are hallmarks of the mature Licchavi period in Nepal at its best. The rounded cushion base incised with textile designs is a rare feature and harmoniously integrated. The ankles are also modeled on the underside as visible from underneath the base.
The horizontal third eye and thunderbolt identify the figure as Indra rather than Vajrapani. As the thunderbolt-wielder, this weapon is his primary attribute, together with the uniquely styled crown; compare with a later bronze from the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, in P. Pal, Art of Nepal, 1985, cat. no. S42; and S22 for the type of cushion.

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