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Lot 144, Auction 5/30/2017: 18th C. Indian Gold Plated Silver Ganesh Amulet

Central Asia, India, ca. 18th to 19th century CE. A gold plated silver amulet of a square shape depicting a seated elephant-headed Ganesh (Ganesha) with a suspension loop at the top. Ganesha's portly state is the result of his renowned love of sweets, which may be filling that bowl he is lifting to his mouth. He is adorned with an elaborate head ornament, a necklace (this may actually be a snake, a traditional attribute of Ganesha), bracelets, and armlets. In his hands Ganesha also holds several ritualistic objects or weapons, and he is attended by a mouse, rat, or shrew just below his feet. Size: 1.125" W x 1.125" H (2.9 cm x 2.9 cm) Total Weight: 7.6 grams.

Esteemed as one of the principle deities of the Hindu pantheon, the first son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha is known as the Lord of Plenty or the god of auspiciousness, highly revered as the regulator of all obstacles with the power to create and remove them. Followers traditionally ask for his blessings at the beginning of any new paths or serious endeavors. The origin of his unusual physiognomy, particularly how he came to possess such an unusual head is the source of many legends, the most popular is that one day when Shiva was away from home, Parvati created a human son from her own body. She asked her son to guard the door while she was bathing. Quite unexpectedly, Shiva returned home, and the boy would not allow Shiva to enter his own household. Enraged by this, Shiva cut off the boy's head. Parvati grew quite angry and ordered Shiva to replace his head. Shiva did so with the first living being he encountered, an elephant.

Condition: Normal tarnish to silver. Gold plating is well preserved.

Provenance: private Orange County, California USA collection acquired before 2000

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