A stone figure of Ganesha, India, Karnataka, Hoysala period, 11/12th Century.

The four-armed deity seated on a throne, against a richly decorated background, prabha, holding his goad, conch, up an axe, tusk, a lotus flower and a bowl of sweets. Wearing beaded jewelry encircling his belly, having fan-like ears and topped by an elaborate headdress, backed by an aureole centered with a kirttimukha mask. Height 84 cm (33 in.).

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Damages, wear.

Droit de suite: No

500 000 - 700 000 SEK

58 072 - 81 301 EUR

Hammer price: 
3 700 000 SEK

Marabou Collection, Sundbyberg/Upplands-Väsby, Sweden (acquired 21 December 1972 from Spink & Son Ltd, London for the sum of £5250, a copy of the reciept accompanies the lot).
Kraft Foods Sverige AB, Upplands-Väsby, Sweden.


Compare similar Sold at Christies, New York, 2011, from the The James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, Chicago. Auction 2510. Lot no 45.

Also Compare object no B68S4 at Asian Art Museum, San Franscisco.


Throne-Holst, 'Ur Marabous byggnadshitoria', Stockholm 1977, Illustrated and mentioned on page 64.
Ragnar von Holten, 'Art at Marabou', Uddevalla 1990, illustrated and mentioned on page 41. Henning

Comparative literature: Pratapaditya Pal, A Collecting Odyssey: Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art from the James and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, 1997, p. 57 and 286, cat. no. 64.

Related content

Worshipped as the god of good luck and remover of obstacles, Ganesha, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is one of the most popular gods in the Hindu pantheon. The rotund body and short legs of this 11/12th-century sculpture of Ganesha typifies representations of the deity.

Ganesha's elephant head, like his multiple arms, is a mark of his divine nature, and various myths explain how he acquired it. One of the most popular is that Ganesha's elephant head is the result of a quarrel between Shiva and Parvati. Angered by Ganesha's refusal--at Parvati's behest--to let him see his wife while she was bathing, Shiva cut off Ganesha's head, and Parvati was devastated with grief. In order to soothe her, Shiva replaced the head with that of the first creature he saw, which happened to be an elephant.

Elephants carry complex symbolism in the Indian cultural world. Because they are thought to resemble rain clouds in color and shape, they have long been associated with fertility and prosperity.

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Cecilia Nordström
Cecilia Nordström
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