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A PALE SANDSTONE HEAD OF A TIRTHANKARA
A PALE SANDSTONE HEAD OF A TIRTHANKARA
A PALE SANDSTONE HEAD OF A TIRTHANKARA
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PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT COLLECTION
A PALE SANDSTONE HEAD OF A TIRTHANKARA

INDIA, PROBABLY RAJASTHAN, 11TH-12TH CENTURY

Details
A PALE SANDSTONE HEAD OF A TIRTHANKARA
INDIA, PROBABLY RAJASTHAN, 11TH-12TH CENTURY
10 ¼ in. (26 cm.) high
Provenance
Private collection, West Coast, by 1999.

Brought to you by

Tristan Bruck
Tristan Bruck Specialist, Head of Sale

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Lot Essay

Jainism is propagated through the stories of twenty-four tirthankaras, figures who have conquered samsara (the cycle of death and rebirth) and provide others a bridge to follow them to moksha (liberation). Each tirthankara has a distinct emblem, which allows worshippers to distinguish similar idols; however, with only the head, it is difficult to identify the figure in the present lot.
This charming head carved in pale sandstone epitomizes the elegance of Northwest Indian sculpture of the period. Features are idealized and youthful, highlighted by the fleshy cheeks, small bow-shaped mouth, and round protruding chin. The soft facial contours are juxtaposed with strongly pronounced features, with well defined, elongated eyes emphasized by undulating arched brows. Even the symmetrically arranged tight curls of the hair are both precise and delicate, the overall effect creating an image that is benevolently powerful.

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