Nepali Lamp with Donors

 

Nepali lamp Donors

Lamps play a significant role in Hindu religious rituals/prayers both at homes and in temples. Offerings to temples include lamps like the one above and oil for the wick lamps. The lamps also represent a significant form of artistic expression.

This example is a group portrait of donor and spouse, showing them seated and offering their prayers and respect with their hands in Anjali mudra.  Their prayer is perpetual.Nepali Lamp Donors only

This comes in two parts. The outer prabhavali like structure with leaves and five lamps and the base, donors and hooded snake providing protection.

The snake hood canopy is not from a single snake as we normally see. Here multiple snakes provide the canopy. See the braided form of snakes body framing the donors. Such treatment of hooded snake providing canopy is normally reserved for deities and this example is unusual for that feature. See the picture on the side.

The outer prabhavali of leaves and lamps is quite elaborate and detailed. The leaves were assembled to provide the wreath like look.

The tunic of the male is typical of Nepal. The height is about 24 cm and the width is 26 cm.

I have come across two other similar bronzes and one of them is in Denver museum. The Denver examples are published in Nepal/Where Gods are Young by Pratapaditya Pal.

The male’s kneeling posture and the female in maharaja lalitasana are consistent with other examples I have seen. Those examples have been assigned early nineteenth century and this has the age. According to the seller, this is a deaccessioned piece.

There is some inscription on the sides and front of the base. Please contact me if you want photos of the inscriptions.

 

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