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Miniature Shikhara (temple tower) guarded by a pair of Makaras with a Musician and (river) goddess

10-11th Century

Central India, Madhya Pradesh, probably Gwalior region

Yellow sandstone

H 41,5cm x L40cm x D21cm

The door guardians, ‘Makaras’ are fantastical mythical aquatic creatures that combine the body of a crocodile with the head of a lion and the trunk of an elephant. An ancient symbol in India they are considered by the Hindu’s to be auspicious and purifying. The combination of a beautiful jewelled, near naked swaying woman and a musician with sharply incised detail of costume issuing from the mouths of the Makaras portrays an image of pronounced sensuality, and ensures a protective auspiciousness for the small shrine. A similar miniature shrine can be seen in Gods, Guardians and Lovers, New York, 1993, page 142.

Ex Simon Ray 2008, Ex collection The Late Bruno Cooper, Thence By Descent

Information on request

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