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Bronze Image of Shiva Somaskanda
Tamil Nadu, South India
17th-18th century

height: 22.5cm, width: 14.5cm, depth: 10cm, 2,988g

This good-sized cast bronze image of Shiva as Shrikantha shows the god sitting in lalitasana on a raised oval platform atop a rectangular plinth. Three holes
in the plinth on the front and on the reverse would have been to secure the bronze to a larger platform.

Shiva is majestically clothed and bejewelled. He holds in his upper two arms two attributes: an antelope in one, and an axe in the other. His lower right hand is
in
abhaya-mudra and the lower left in kataka-mudra.  He is crowned with tall jatamukuta crown or headdress of matted hair. The detail in the casting is evident
in the fine and copious waistbands, fingers and feet.

The name 'Somaskanda' implies that this image was intended as part of a larger image which included Shiva's wife Uma and their son Skanda.

Overall, this is a fine piece in very fine condition.  It has a chocolate-brown patina and a softness to the extremities from ritual use and wear. It was acquired in
the UK and most probably has been in the UK since the colonial era.

References:
Archer, M.
et al, Treasures from India: The Clive Collection at Powis Castle, The National Trust, 1987.
Mitchell, A.G.,
Hindu Gods and Goddesses, UBSPD, 1982.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 3771 SOLD

Click here to see more Indian bronzes.
A Chola-period Somaskanda bronze group
photographed in the Maratha Palace Museum in Tanjore, South India, January, 2015.