Expert’s note: The composition of this small stele is closely related to that of the ‘mother goddess and child’ in the Norton Simon Museum, see literature comparison below. This becomes strikingly clear when the images of both statues are juxtaposed and subsequently overlaid. Thus, the present sculpture - although smaller in size - is proportionally identical to the one at the Norton Simon and most likely once served as a model for its creation. This makes it an exceedingly rare specimen of ancient sculptural work in general. It is also interesting to note that the attributes of the missing arms in the Norton Simon statue can be clearly reconstructed using the present sculpture as a reference. Lakshika Senarath Gamage, Assistant Curator for South & Southeast Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, stated in a note to the current owner that “based on the standard iconography, I agree with you that the sculptures would have been quite similar/identical.”
Central India, c. 600. Neatly carved in openwork and reticulated, seated in lalitasana upon a pedestal incised with a band of rings, the goddess supporting a child on her lap. The lower right hand holding a sword, a shield in her upper left, with a radiating halo behind her head, her hair tied into a high chignon, bejeweled with a pendant, earrings, armlets and a waist band.
Provenance: Jean Claude Moreau-Gobard, Paris, and thence by descent in the family. A noted French private collection, acquired from the above via the Paris auction market. Jean Claude Moreau-Gobard was a French collector and dealer specializing in Asian art, born into a family of antiques dealers in Paris. He was active from the 1950s until the 1980s. Today, the family business is continued by Juliette Moreau-Gobard.
Condition: Good condition, commensurate with age. Extensive wear, signs of weathering and erosion, soil encrustations, minor losses, small cracks and nicks.
Weight: 1,5725 g
Dimensions: Height 17.4 cm
Compare a closely related larger sandstone figure, dated c. 600, in the Norton Simon Museum, accession number M.1975.11.05.S.
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