Another miniature Durga, just about 5.5 cm. This one is with action and drama.
It is eight armed Dura sitting astride her vahana, lion. A menacing looking lion. The attributes in her hands are not discernible. Quite unusual to see a ring framing her head.
The drama is captured in the two pictures above. It brings out the spirit of Durga marching to wage war against demon Mahisha. The hapless entourage of Mahisha got in the way and they are being trampled away. The bronze manages to capture the emotion of the diminutive figures by showing their open mouth and two of them (the ones getting stomped by Durga) trying to support themselves with their arms.
Durga’s power is brought out by the relative sizes and the portrayal of her marching without breaking stride.
There is some wear to the bronze, the face and the bottom show it. The seller assigned it to the eighteenth century.
Not quite sure as to where it is from. Such portrayal of Durga riding a lion, without the demons getting stomped, is common in bronzes from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Karnataka (Thanks to HJH). Seen few from Orissa and Bengal.
In the book ‘Temple Imagery from early Medieval Peninsular India’ by Archana Sharma, there are several panels of relief sculptures of the Goddess riding on her vahana during her fight with Mahisha. Her vahana is shown trampling Mahisha’s army. The panels are from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu In those panels the Goddess’s main weapons are bow and arrow. But the similarity is there.
The seller, an auction house, attributed this bronze to Deccan region.
A bronze with lots of character as SM, an ardent collector, put it.