Yamuna or Deepalakshmi or a cosmetic holder?


Yamuna or Lakshmi

Here the goddess is standing on a turtle base holding a mirror and a container in her hands. Ornamentation, though not elaborate, is complete. Take time to look at the hair pleat and the decoration at the top of the pleat.

Yamuna or Lakshmi sideThere is a hole at the top of the deity’s head and it is connected to the turtle base. The function of this is not known. For that matter, the identification of the goddess is uncertain.

Nepalese identify the goddess holding a mirror (Darpana) and a container for paste as Lakshmi. Even a turtle is associated with Lakshmi in Nepal. Some examples to follow. But here the iconography is more Indian than Nepalese.

Turtle as a symbol is associated with Vaishnavism and quite often it is associated with river Goddess Yamuna.

Some authors have identified the container in her left hand as a lamp, receptacles for oil. Hence this bronze is often identified as Deepalakshmi.Yamuna or lakshmi back

The book Aditi, the Living Arts of India by Smithsonian Institution has a picture of a similar piece. That bronze is from the National Museum, New Delhi and it is attributed to the nineteenth century.

This bronze is about 10.5 cm in height. As and when I get to know more about this bronze will update this page.

6 July 2019: Replaced the earlier bronze with a better example. The identity is uncertain. This bronze has been identified as Yakshi holding a container for incense (Flames of Devotion by Sean Anderson, Cat number 23). One of the dealers I work with and the book Aditi, the Living Arts of India identify this as a cosmetic holder, the turtle for perfume, the main figure for oil, the circular frame (left hand) for a mirror and the receptacle for vermillion or eyeliner.


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