Bronze three sided Shaivite figural group, Gandhara, Circa 2nd/3rd century
Lot 14
A copper alloy three-sided Shaivite figural group Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century
Sold for US$ 40,000 inc. premium
Auction Details
Bronze three sided Shaivite figural group, Gandhara, Circa 2nd/3rd century
Lot Details
A copper alloy three-sided Shaivite figural group
Ancient Region of Gandhara, 2nd/3rd century
Each with two arms and each wearing a dhoti secured by a sash around the waist, one side depicting a young ascetic with his hair in high chignon, wearing earings, a necklace and scared chord, supple stomach, another side depicting an old acestic with matted beard and gathered locks in the form of a cone, his face with a grimace, the other side depicting a fawn-like creature with horns, possibly a hood, grimace, matted beard, emaciated torso, no scared thread, and erect phallus.
3 in. (7.5cm) high

Footnotes

  • The present lot is a veritable anomaly amongst the surviving material from Early Gandhara, dramatically embodying the convergence of Indo-European cultures and religious iconographies intersecting in the landscape.

    A close connection can be found with a three-headed fragment in the Liden Museum, Stuttgart (SA 39584) and a bronze plaque from Akhun Dheri, now in the Peshawar Museum, see Doris Shrinivasan, 'Hindu Deities in Afghanistan', in Gandharan: The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan, Mainz, 2008, no.108, pp. 130-132.

    Both the Akhun Dheri plaque and the present lot have an ithyphallic representation of Shiva flanked with conical matted locks, but the plaque also shows his vehicle Nandi. The function of the present object is unknown and appears to be a unique representation of Shiva , whilst one side also bears some resemblance to the Greek god Pan. The rare objects is emphatic of this early period when iconographies were still very much in flux.

    Provenance:
    Private American Collection
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