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Temple offering vessel

Shaivite temple offering vessel



19th century


This large cast oval-shaped vessel with a hinged cover was designed to hold offerings for the ceremony in the temple. The offerings could be either for the deities or for the temple staff and priests.  The cover is in the form of an almost life-sized version of the head of a local Rajasthan hero or ruler with divine characteristics. 

The face has a prominent beard and moustache, with his hair piled high upon the head in two buns. A forehead band marks out the hairline and is decorated with floral and leaf motifs. 

The forehead is marked with a prominent Shaivite tika (third eye or spiritual eye), which means that this vessel was meant to be used in ritual worship of Shiva. 

Both ears are decorated with large circular earrings, the floral decoration is meticulous. 

The vessel has been masterfully cast and is in excellent condition. It's a rare and unique object, with an outstanding presence.


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