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Lot n° 294


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A BRONZE FIGURE OF SADASHIVA, NEPAL, 17TH-18TH CENTURY Boldly cast with deeply and densely incised details. The five-headed, four-armed deity standing in samabhanga with his principal hands clasped together in anjali mudra, his secondary hands holding a damaru and trident, wearing a tiger skin draped around his waist and adorned with beaded jewery, his five faces each with large round eyes, mustache, and full lips, beneath a three-panel foliate tiara. Provenance: From the estate of Phillip Allen (1938-2022), who was a widely respected collector and expert of Chinese ceramics and works of art as well as a director of the Oriental Ceramic Society for many years. He co-authored and edited several exhibition catalogues for the OCS and was best known as the cataloguer of the Sir Victor Sassoon collection of Chinese ivories in the British Museum. Condition: Very good condition with expected old wear, casting flaws, few small dents and losses. The bronze is covered in a lustrous -brown patina. Weight: 133.1 g (incl. stand) Dimensions: Height 9.8 cm (incl. stand) and 9.1 cm (excl. stand) Mounted to a European bronze oval base. (2) Indian texts state that the highest principle of Shiva is transcendent and without form. Sadashiva is considered to represent the god as he begins to assume form in the material world. When fully manifested in the physical world, Shiva is considered as Mahesha. These two forms are characterized by five heads arranged in two tiers, four facing the cardinal directions and the fifth on top. The five faces are believed to represent earth, water, fire, wind, and sky, or alternatively violence (south face), maternity (north face), joy (west face), union (east face), and benevolence (face on top of the head). Literature comparison: Compare a related earlier bronze of Shiva Bhairava, also with five heads but ten arms, dated 15 th century, in the Rubin Museum of Art, object number C2004.13.1.