2012 Catalogue no. 15
WOOD PANEL WITH INDRA AND SACHI NEPAL, KATHMANDU VALLEY MID 18TH CENTURY DATED 879 (NEPALESE SAMBAT), 1758 AD H. 41 CMS, 16 ¼ INS A delightful carved wood relief depicting Indra and his consort Sachi, seated atop a pair of recumbent elephants, each wearing extensive jewellery and with their hands raised in abhyamudra (the gesture of dispelling fear), backed by an arched, flame-fringed nimbus surmounted by a pair of birds and a kirttimukha (‘face of glory’) devouring his own tail; the pedestal with three adorants and a dedicatory inscription. Indra is the leader of the Devas or gods and Lord of Svargaloka (or ‘heaven’) in Hindu mythology. He is the God of war and of thunderstorms and his weapon is the lightning-bolt (vajra). Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda and is the twin brother of Agni. His consort is Sachi, also known as Indrani (‘Queen of Indra’). This sculpture has a dedicatory inscription which includes a Nepalese Sambat date of 879, equivalent to 1758 AD. For a closely related wood carving in the Indian Museum, Kolkata (Calcutta), see cat. no. 68 in Amita Ray, Art of Nepal, New Delhi: Indian Council for Cultural Relations, 1973. See also cat. no. 67 (ibid.). Provenance: Private UK collection.