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Silver Devotional Mohra Mask, Inset with Red Cabochon Stones
Maharashtra, probably Kohlapur
18th-19th century

height: 15.2cm, width: 9.4cm, depth: 5.5cm

This fine silver mask known as a mohra has splendid ritual wear - a testament to its age and use. Given its ritual use, it has been made of silver of the highest
purity (
ie more pure than sterling).  The mask is associated with Shaivite workship,

The mask is finally chased and engraved and has an excellent sculptural quality. The eyes, including the third eye on the forehead, are filled with red
cabochon stones in open settings which become illuminated with back lighting.

The ears are pierced to allow the worshipper to decorate the image with earrings as an act of devotion. Elsewhere, the image is pierced to allow it to be
attached to the wall of an alter or perhaps to a
lingam cover. (The piercings would not allow it to be worn as a large pendant.)

References:
Aryan, S., B.N. Aryan & G. Rossi, Mukhalinga, Ethnoarte, 2011.

Provenance:  UK art market

Inventory no.: 3508

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