India. Seated in vajrasana on a triangular base, both hands in dhyanamudra, naked, a srivatsa sign carved at his breast, his face with large almond-shaped eyes, aquiline nose, gently smiling lips, elongated earlobes, and a seven-headed snake canopy above, the lips with remnants of red pigment. Finely polished and with an unctuous overall.
Provenance: Schuler Auctions, Zurich, Switzerland, 16 June 2004, lot 2369. A Swiss private collection, acquired from the above.
Condition: Good condition with old wear, few old fills, small losses, some nicks here and there, minuscule touch-ups, remnants of pigment.
Weight: 3,436 g (incl. stand), 2326 g (excl. stand)
Dimensions: Height 28 cm (incl. stand), 24.5 cm (excl. stand)
With a European circular hardwood stand dating to the 20th century. (2)
Parshvanatha is the 23rd and one of the most popular Tirthankaras in Jainism, and certainly the most visually striking. The 24 Tirthankaras represent Jainism's spiritual masters, who freed themselves from the chains of rebirth and departed our world. As such, they cannot be invoked through their statues, like the deities of Hinduism or Buddhism. Rather their effigies serve as reminders of the faith's tenets and rewards.
Compare a related black stone figure of Parshvanatha, India, in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, accession number 480(IS).
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