H: 10” Dia: 3.75” | FREE SHIPPING!
This Hindu prayer bell was likely placed on a home or temple altar and in daily puja rituals. This simple yet elegant bell has a smooth and undecorated body with only incised parallel rings circling plain surfaces and is topped by a pair of Garudas sheltered by a hood of Nagas. Garuda, the mythical winged bird that is Vishnu’s mount, and Naga, a seven-headed hooded serpent, are natural enemies and when they are represented together, they symbolizes peace, a very appropriate adornment for the tranquility and serenity elicited by the pleasing sounds of a prayer bell.
Martin Lerner an Steven Kossak, The Lotus Transcendent: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Harry Abrams, New York, 1991.
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This exceptional naga was likely one of two that were part of a gong stand. Gongs were used in Burma for both ceremonial and musical purposes in religious, state, or secular settings and as protector figures. A superb carving elaborately decorated with gold lacquer and pigmentation over every square inch, he opens his mouth wide bearing mother-of-pearl teeth and a curled blood red mouth and tongue to drive away malevolent spirits reinforced by the large glaring eyes circled in red. On first glance it is menacing, but its history as a protector of Buddha Shakyamuni make it prized as a fanciful, gleeful guardian. His scales are arched relief designs of mixed lacquer and ash highlighted with inset cut mirrors and green sequin-like glass “jewels.” It is mounted on a museum quality stand and is in excellent condition for its age and use despite missing and ear.
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