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A RARE BUFF SANDSTONE FIGURE OF A SALABHANJIKA
A RARE BUFF SANDSTONE FIGURE OF A SALABHANJIKA
A RARE BUFF SANDSTONE FIGURE OF A SALABHANJIKA
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A RARE BUFF SANDSTONE FIGURE OF A SALABHANJIKA
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THE IRVING COLLECTION
A RARE BUFF SANDSTONE FIGURE OF A SALABHANJIKA

CENTRAL INDIA, MADHYA PRADESH OR UTTAR PRADESH, 10TH CENTURY

Details
A RARE BUFF SANDSTONE FIGURE OF A SALABHANJIKA
CENTRAL INDIA, MADHYA PRADESH OR UTTAR PRADESH, 10TH CENTURY
33 in. (83.8 cm.) high
Provenance
The Collection of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth, New York, by 1968-1970.
The Pan-Asian Collection (Christian Humann), New York, by 1972.
Alice Boney, New York, by 1982.
The Florence and Herbert Irving Collection, New York, 25 October 1982.
Irving Collection, no. 837.
Literature
P. Pal, The Sensuous Immortals, Los Angeles, 1977, p. 81, no. 46.
Exhibited
On loan to Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1972-1977 (L.72.14.142).
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, William Rockhill Nelson Gallery, Kansas City, National Gallery, Ottawa, Toledo Museum of Art, "The Sensuous Immortals: A Selection of Sculptures from the Pan-Asian Collection" 25 October 1977-29 October 1978, no. 46.

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Tristan Bruck
Tristan Bruck Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art

Lot Essay

The present sculpture, originally a pillar bracket, represents a celestial female of the salabhanjika type. Found in temple architecture across north India, salabhanjika are highly desirable women, symbols of fertility, depicted underneath a blossoming tree. They are believed to have descended from tree deities and hold the ability to bring fruit or flowers to trees with their touch. Much like apsara and yakshi, salabhanjika are represented with exaggerated feminine characteristics and idealized facial features. They represent both earthly and divine abundance.
The present example is depicted casually leaning against a tree trunk, with curving tendrils emerging from behind her head as she adjusts her hair ornament and likely gazes into a hand mirror. The effortless beauty of this semi-divine female is highlighted by her sinuous form and leisurely activity. Her facial features are precisely delineated, especially her almond-shaped eyes with pupils, well defined-lids, and arched brows. She is adorned with a beaded head ornament, large ear discs, a collar, and a multi-strand necklace that falls between her exaggerated breasts. Her waist belt is festooned with jeweled leg drops connected to rich openwork girdles. Vines from the tree intertwine her proper left leg.

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