A marble figure of a Jina Gujarat or Rajasthan, circa 11th century

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 77W
A marble figure of a Jina
Gujarat or Rajasthan, circa 11th century

Sold for US$ 317,000 inc. premium
A marble figure of a Jina
Gujarat or Rajasthan, circa 11th century
Of classic form, with the Jina seated in double lotus on an ornate cushion of foliate motifs in jewel-like cartouches, the hem of his lower garment extending between his ankles, his flexed toes rest above his calves while the line of his tibias course the length of his lower legs, his hands rest in the attitude of meditation below his exquisitely modelled ample stomach, his rib cage rises in iconometrically prescribed diagonals towards his broad chest with the shrivatsa mark between his smooth pectorals, his arms extend from broad shoulders, his neck displays the trivali mark, flanked by the characteristic cubed ends of his pendulous earlobes, his charming face with a pronounced chin and rounded cheeks either side of an abstracted nose rising to high arched eyebrows and elegant almond shaped eyes, his hair in tight curls forming a series of raised nodules enfolding the low ushnisha and a sigmoid hairline.
17 1/4 in. (53.8 cm) high


  • Few Jain images are as iconic as the white marble meditating Jina. The stone's color connotes the embodied spiritual purity of the Jina, one of twenty-four spiritual exemplars who attained the ultimate goal of liberating their souls from the cycle of death and rebirth. Their image functions to inspire and remind the devotee of the tenets of the faith, as well as its rewards. As Key Chapple notes with reference to a similar, later example in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the ornate cushion on which he is seated emphasizes both his status as a revered being as well as his ability to flourish even after surrendering all attachments (Diamond (ed.), Yoga: The Art of Transformation, Washington, DC, 2013, pp. 132-5). He sits in meditation wherein no violence can be envisaged, and meditating on him in turn diverts the spirit away from earthly desire and affliction and towards the transcendent (van Alphen, Steps to Liberation, Antwerp, 2000, p.43).

    The sculpture's material originates from the vast marble deposits surrounding the revered Mount Abu, which borders Northern Gujarat and Western Rajasthan. Close interactions between these two regions formed a composite "Maru-Gurjara" style (R Parimoo, Treasures from the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum, Ahmedabad, 2013, p. 30). Jainism flourished in Western India between the 10th and 12th centuries, with many temples commissioned under the Solanki and Later Pratihara dynasties. The apex of craftsmanship is embodied in the Dilwara temples on Mount Abu itself. Judging from the piece's size and quality, it would likely have served as central devotional image of a smaller temple, or an icon housed in a shrine on the outer perimeter of a larger temple.

    Stylistically, this sculpture bears close resemblance in almost all respects to a Jina attributed to the second half of the 12th century found in Gujarat and now held in the British Museum (OA 1915.5-15.1), but the chubbier face and the more naturalistic treatment of the hips and waistline on the present lot suggest a slightly earlier date of production. The archaeological record seems to show a general movement towards greater abstraction in the 12th century. This trend can be observed by contrasting two standing Jinas from Ladol, Gujarat now in the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum, Ahmedabad: one an 11th century figure of Parshvanath (#222), and the other, a figure of Shantinath, dated to 1269 CE (#218, see ibid., pp. 30-1). The former's sigmoid hairline, round face, ushnisha, earlobes, and waist also compare closely with the present sculpture. This development is similarly present when contrasting a Jina attributed to the second half of the 11th century in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1992.131) with the aforementioned example in the Virginia Museum of Arts (2000.98), dated to 1160 CE.

    Furthermore, his softly-featured, plump face parallels the attractive modelling on at least two Hindu marble sculptures from 11th century Sirohi: one of Brahmani held in the Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur (CMJ 33/65, see Ahuja, The Body in Indian Art and Thought, Brussels, 2013, no. 149, p. 131) and another, likely of Sarasvati, in the William Price Collection held in the Amarillo Museum of Art (see N. Rao, Boundaries & Transformations, Texas, 1998, fig. 17, p. 22), as well as a Vidyadevi of unknown provenance in the Cleveland Museum of Art (1972.152). Sirohi sculptures are arguably the most attractive type of the style and period. With his sweet expression and uplifting face, the present lot is perhaps the most endearing of its kind.

    Private Canadian Collection
    Acquired from Spink & Son Ltd, London, 1995
A marble figure of a Jina Gujarat or Rajasthan, circa 11th century
A marble figure of a Jina Gujarat or Rajasthan, circa 11th century
A marble figure of a Jina Gujarat or Rajasthan, circa 11th century
A marble figure of a Jina Gujarat or Rajasthan, circa 11th century
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $3,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $3,000 up to and including $400,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $4,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.