Gajalakshmi, Goddess of wealth Lakshmi lustrated by elephants (Gaja), is a popular and ancient motif. This motif may be traced back to Buddhist sculptures. Gajalakshmi is one of eight forms of Lakshmi.
Here the Goddess is holding a lotus in her upper hands. The elephants are standing on two independent columns topped by lotus. A change from the conventional iconography The elephants are holding upturned pots of water in their trunk and doing ‘Abhishek’ (ritual bathing).
Gajalakshmi’s lower hands are in Varada (bestowing) and Abhaya (protection) mudra, the most common mudras in Hindu deities. There are four elephants, each holding a pot, representing the four cardinal directions. A view from the top shows four pots and the elephants are delineated.
This bronze is from Orissa (crown in the form of a tiara, material used and beaded rims). It is about 9.5 cm in height and maybe from the 18th century.
For a more detailed discussion on the iconography, please see the blog on standing Gajalakshmi.