In Hindu mythology a vahana (Sanskrit: “mount” or vehicle”) is a mythical beast that transports and is the sign of specific deities and represents a significant aspect or characteristic of the deity that increases its power. Major vahanas include Shiva’s bull Nandi, Vishnu’s bird Garuda, Brahma’s and Saraswati’s white swan Hamsa, Ganesh’s rat, and Parvati’s lion.

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  • Antique Brass Nandi, India


    This finely cast antique recumbent miniature statue with finely articulated features portrays Nandi decorated with jewels and sitting recumbent on a high-tiered throne.  Waiting to serve his Lord Shiva and kneeling in reverence and worship, Nandi is a symbol of purity and strength. Small figurines like this were placed on home shrines with other deities and items of significance to the family. Made using lost wax casting method whose mold is destroyed after use, it is a one-of-a-kind piece in very good condition with casting and plating flaws in the rear and a surface scratch and minor plating loss on the back left side.


  • Antique Bronze/Brass Nandi, South India


    This small antique brass Nandi is well-proportioned, exquisitely handcrafted and has a wonderfully aged patina. He sits recumbent on a raised rectangular platform. Delicately incised with decorative details delineating the head, neck, snout and body, his right leg and tail are sinuous, graceful ornaments rather than defining features. His head is at a 45-degree with lyrically curved horns in contrast to most versions with horns extending backwards. This Nandi is based on a South Indian cow whose humpback is emphasized here by two parallel lines covering it as if is part of a saddle or another ornament feature.

  • Antique Hamsa Heddle Pulley, Burma/Myanmar


    This elegant heddle pulley is surmounted by a carved hamsa carved from a single piece of Burmese teak portrayed as a squat duck-like bird with a thick neck with deeply cut indentations, wide wings with well-articulated feathers. Its unusually large and broad tail from his rear to the top of its head provides a curved device to help the flow of the string in weaving. Below the feet are two heart-shaped panels with carved borders and a hole to connect them, hide the moving thimble and provide a more artistic feel. The piece is in very good condition and is wonderfully weathered with minor losses, and a fine patina covers its original painted surface.

  • Antique Teak Hamsa Heddle Pulley, Stand, Burma/Myanmar


    This Burmese teak heddle pulley is topped with a hamsa a frequent decorative motif used there. The hamsa is similar to a duck with a squat body, short neck and large flat wings, and here the broad tail curves to the rear of its head. Standing on short legs, it has articulated extended claws on a plain heart-shaped base hiding the flanged bottom held in place by a dowel. The body is rather plain although there are feather-like indentations on the neck and tail. Likely covered with lacquer and pigmentation, little remains as the piece has become weathered consistent with its age and use. This piece is in good condition well and has no repairs or restoration. Although there are many contemporary heddle copies, genuine antiques are now increasingly rare. Mounted on a black wood base, this heddle pulley pairs with item number 11298A.


  • Antique/Vintage Brass Nandi Figurine, India


    This recumbent miniature statue with well articulated features portrays Nandi decorated with jewels and sitting on a high-tiered pedestal throne. Nandi figurines are placed on home altars for daily puja and are decorated with flowers and incense offerings as a sign of respect and this image has an attached incense holder for this purpose.  It was probably placed on a home shrine along with other deities and items of significance to the family. Made using lost wax casting, it is a one-of-a-kind piece in very good condition with a fine patina and smooth surface, some pitting and surface losses consistent with age and use.



  • Vintage Terracotta Ganesh on his Mouse, India


    This vintage terracotta statue depicts Ganesh with his elephant head and pot belly on a very large representation of his vehicle, (vahana) the mouse who both wear a beaded rosary necklace. His trunk leans to his left to eat the sweets (laddo) which he holds in one hand, which represents earthly prosperity and well-being and his raised arms hold a weapon that symbolizes how we should not fear any obstacles, and conch shell that symbolizes victory and fulfillment. His body is framed by a pointed aurole with raised orbs reflected is divine status and energy.  The piece is extremely colorful with red, green and gold pigmentation throughout. It probably was created in a rural part of India, as its style is rustic and earthy, although entirely charming. This and other images of Hindu deities were placed in home shrines where they were venerated daily during a puja ceremony.


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