A COPPER ALLOY JAIN SHRINE CENTRAL INDIA, 10TH CENTURY

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Lot 3071
A COPPER ALLOY JAIN SHRINE
CENTRAL INDIA, 10TH CENTURY

Sold for US$ 30,000 inc. premium
A COPPER ALLOY JAIN SHRINE
CENTRAL INDIA, 10TH CENTURY
6 1/8 in. (15.7 cm) high

Footnotes

  • This superior and early personal Jain shrine from Central India has a large and handsome central figure and a rich pine green patina. With only eight planets referenced by the line of faces above its footed base, a watershed in Indian astrology resulting in a ninth planet being added in the 11th century, allows us to confidently date this piece to the 10th century (cf. Pingree, 'Indian Planetary Images and the Tradition of Astral Magic', in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol.52, 1989, p.6). Compare it with another example in the same style with nine faces dated by inscription to 1074 in this sale (lot 3072).

    For this reason, the present lot is also a rare and significant Jain bronze from Northern India, being among the earlier known examples of a continuous artistic tradition patronized from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh until this day. In early pieces, the modeling of the figure is quite naturalistic, as in the present lot, and gradually increases in abstraction and ornament as the centuries progress. For this evolution, refer again to the following lot, dated 1074; see an example dated 1140 in Granoff (ed.), Victorious Ones, pp.200-1, no.S21; and finally an example dated c.1353, representing the crescendo of the high baroque style more commonly identified with Gujarat and Rajasthani Jain shrines sold by Bonhams, New York, 13 March 2017, lot 3108.

    The central jina, possibly Mahavira, is joined by four other jinas creating a panchatirthi shrine image of five Tirthankaras ('ford-bearers'). Yaksha Matanga and Ambika also support his throne. Distinct from the following lot in the same style, the subsidiary jinas are naked here, meaning that this bronze was made for a Digambara patron. The Digambara communities of Northern India were primarily located in Eastern Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which is why the bronze has been attributed to Central rather than Western India, although the distinction is perhaps not so significant given that there appears to be one general style catering to both northern Jain communities.

    Provenance
    Barling of Mount Street Ltd, London, 1970s
    Private American Collection
Contacts
A COPPER ALLOY JAIN SHRINE CENTRAL INDIA, 10TH CENTURY
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