Dhatr Surya (?)

Dhatr Surya front full

This may not be Surya Dhatr at all. This bronze is under research now.

Changed the description to be ‘figure neutral’. (17 Nov 2016).

The whole figure is about 24 cm in height. The main figure, four armed, is standing in samapada on a lotus pedestal. The rear hands hold lotus buds and the shapes differ slightly from each other. The front hands hold what looks like chain, in the right hand, and a water carrier, Kamandala, in the left hand. The deity is wearing knee length lower garment. The ornamentation  crown, earring, necklaces, bracelets, waist clasp and anklets are basic without any decoration. The anklets is in addition to the detachable rings around the ankles. The deity is barefoot.

The deity is surrounded by oval shaped rimmed prabhavali, devoid of any design except for kalasa  at the top. Sun and moon signs are prominent in the kalasa. There are two vertical poles between the deity and Prabhavali and the poles designed  to hold the structure together. Unusual feature. Behind deity’s head  there is a lotus nimbus. There are two archers standing at the base of the Prabhavali, one of each side.

So far so routine. Now to the base of the statue. The front of the base is below.

Dhatr Surya front close

There are five main figures on the base, including Ganesha at the centre. Starting from our left standing male figure with right arm raised, figure seated in meditative position, Ganesha , standing figure with arms held at waist level and standing figure with legs bent in some kind of dance posture. Ganesha is on the face of a protruding portion of what appears to be an altar and on top of which there is a pair of feet. Between the figures and the flat portion of the base, there are twelve swirls. At the far enDhatr Surya sideds of the base there are two figures. May be donors.

Now to the right side of the base. There is cantering horse. Just above the horse in the niche, there is sword. Above the sword on the side wall there are four swirls.

On the other side there is a horse, niche and four swirls. But no sword.

At the back there are three figures cow/hippopotamus, turtle and a fish with fins. Most unusual.Dhatr Surya back closeup

Normally in a bronze, the base is not decorated, barring images of donors and deity’s vahana. This piece is exceptional in the prolific number of images shown. The images at the backside of the base  is in stark contrast to the featureless backside of the Prabhavali.

Who is it?


I consulted a scholar on this bronze. This may be a Vaishnava figure. Will update the blog once I sort few things. (17 Nov 2016)

There is significant ritual wear to the face. The bronze is in sturdy condition. I had an expert (HJH) look at this. We agree this is a very unusual bronze and it is first of its kind for us.

This is probably the most complete shrine in my collection and the least documented bronze. Any suggestion and comments are most welcome.





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