A COPPER ALLOY SHRINE TO SURYA KARNATAKA, WESTERN CHALUKYA PERIOD, 11TH CENTURY

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

Lot 641
A COPPER ALLOY SHRINE TO SURYA
KARNATAKA, WESTERN CHALUKYA PERIOD, 11TH CENTURY

US$ 150,000 - 250,000
HK$ 1,200,000 - 1,900,000
A COPPER ALLOY SHRINE TO SURYA
KARNATAKA, WESTERN CHALUKYA PERIOD, 11TH CENTURY
21 1/8 in. (53.6 cm) high

Footnotes

  • Surya, the Sun-god, stands tall like a cosmic pillar holding two fully-blown lotuses emphasizing his supreme generative powers. He is adorned with regalia, but not too ostentatiously as to distract from his idealized physique. Paired with an Indian dhoti around his hips, Surya wears tall boots which scholars have suggested indicate a Eurasian origin. As in other Indo-European religious systems, the Vedic Sun-god rides a chariot through the sky, representing the sun's daily passage. His charioteer and team of seven horses are depicted below, while immediately to either side stand Surya's alluring consorts, representing the two phases of dawn. Columns emerging from the shine's base are decorated with the gajavidala motif, which depicts a mythical lion triumphing over an elephant. Two cherubs float on either side of Surya's halo, surrounded by a magnificent profusion of vegetal and floral volutes emerging from the gaping mouth of a horned kala face. As Pal notes, this bronze shrine marks the apogee of Western Chalukyan metal sculpture, striking a "remarkable balance between decorative exuberance and elegant figural forms to create a harmonious composition of restrained energy". (Pal, The Elegant Image, New Orleans, 2011, p.134)

    From their dynastic capital in Kalyani (modern-day Basavakalyan), the Western Chalukyas ruled over Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the Deccan Plateau between the late-10th and late-12th centuries. Among their artistic achievements, they patronized the poet Bilhana who produced the famous love poem, the Chaurapanchasika, in the same century this bronze was created. The Western Chalukyas also produced the most engaging and aesthetically satisfying sculptures in the Deccan at this time, building upon a regional artistic tradition of robust figures and ornate frames, which the Hoysalas (r.1026-1343) furthered. The Western Chalukyas built over 50 temples ranging throughout Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, a notable example of which is the Mahadeva temple in Karnataka, dedicated in 1112 CE, whose outer walls display similar scrolling vines as the present bronze's arch (see Huntington, The Art of Ancient India, New York, 1993, pp.545, figs.22.6).

    As Pal identified, this bronze is one of the most impressive surviving metal sculptures in the Western Chalukyan style (Pal, op cit.). Probably the closest other example to its scale and importance is an albeit much smaller shrine to Vishnu in the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art, Hyderabad (Chandra, The Sculpture of India 3000BC-1300AD, Michigan, 1985, pp.184-185, no.89). Other notable examples of Western Chalukyan metal sculpture are a Vishnu shrine in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (EA2005.12), an enthroned Jina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1987.142.335), and a shrine to the Jain Goddess Ambika at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (M.72.1.12). Like them, the present shrine has a smooth surface produced by many years of ritual worship that included the pouring of liquids (ghee, honey, milk, water, and the like) onto the sculpture, followed by a thorough cleansing that effectively polished its surface. 

    Published
    Pratapaditya Pal, The Elegant Image: Hindu, Buddhist And Jain Bronzes From The Indian Subcontinent In The Siddharth K. Bhansali Collection, New Orleans, 2011, pp.134-5, no.67.

    Exhibited
    The Elegant Image: Hindu, Buddhist And Jain Bronzes From The Indian Subcontinent In The Siddharth K. Bhansali Collection, August 5th to October 23rd, 2011, New Orleans.

    Provenance
    Barling of Mount Street Ltd., London, by mid 1970s
    Collection of Siddharth K. Bhansali, New Orleans
    On Loan to the New Orleans Museum of Art, 2018-2020
Contacts
A COPPER ALLOY SHRINE TO SURYA KARNATAKA, WESTERN CHALUKYA PERIOD, 11TH CENTURY
A COPPER ALLOY SHRINE TO SURYA KARNATAKA, WESTERN CHALUKYA PERIOD, 11TH CENTURY
A COPPER ALLOY SHRINE TO SURYA KARNATAKA, WESTERN CHALUKYA PERIOD, 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

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

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 $12,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $12,500 up to and including $600,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $600,000 up to and including $6,000,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $6,000,000.

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 for returning clients only. 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.

App