Tsuba (sword guard) with design of blowfish, shrimp and plant
This small, flat piece made of light brown brass (called "sentoku" in Japanese) has a round diamond shape. It has a triangular shaped hole in the center and another round hole on one side. Artist’s name is signed between the two holes. The surface is slightly concaved from the rim. The front has relief design of a shrimp, blowfish, and bamboo branch. On the back, there are designs of a spiral shell, a barnacle, and water drops. The sea motifs are inlayed with gold, silver, copper, and shakudô (copper-gold alloy).
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
brass with gold, silver, copper, and shakudô (copper-gold alloy) inlays
A ten-armed figure sits with her legs tucked under her on a tiger with a long uplifted tail. The figure is incised onto the copper plate with a chisel. One set of arms are crossed across her chest, while all but six hands hold weapons. A crossed spear and trident form an X behind the figure. She has wide bracelets at each of her wrists and wears elaborate circular earrings and nose ring with a three partite crown. Two lines in devanagari script are above the figure.
An eight armed goddess sits astride a tiger with uplifted tail. She carries a noose, punch dagger, shankha, and trident in her right hands and a bow, ring-like discus, arrow and shield in her left arms. She wears a long garland of either large rudraksa or heads around her heck along with other necklaces and pendants. She sits with legs pendant wearing a long skirt. Behind the figure a Om symbol with the end of the letter twirled around it twice and the word Shri written in Devanagari script. Below the figure a grid of letters forms a sacred diagram. The lines forming the grid all end in trident forms. Each square of the grid houses a different letter in nagari.
Plate Inscribed with Flying Figure of Hanuman Holding a Flag, Mace and Spear
Artist Unknown, India, Rajasthan
Hanuman is depicted with a human body and a monkey head. The image is incised on the plate and his body is entirely textured with characters in the devanagari script. Often merely the letter ‘r’ designating the god Rama with whom he is associated. He is in a striding posture and there are a number of sections of text scattered around the image. At his feet is a human figure walking in the opposite direction. He holds a double flag consisting of two triangular shapes facing him in his left hand along with a thin club. One appears to emanating from his mouth? His right hand is lifted with an arrow above it and his tail curves behind him. There is also a small altar depicting the two feet of Rama in the area between his outstretched leg and the end of a scarf wrapped around his body.
Shiva as Virabhadra stand in a relaxed posture under an elaborate arch placed above a goose form on either side. The arch curves inward and forms a heart shape at the center meeting in a mask of glory, a kirtimukha. Against the pillars holding up the arch are figures of the goat-headed Daksha on his right and saintly figure on his right. Both are in posed of devotion with their hands in a prayer pose, namaskara. Virabhadra has four arms (reading clockwise from his front right hand) holding a sword, an axe, a trident and resting on a club. He wears a lower garment covered by a series of belts and a multi-tiered necklace coving much of his chest. He also wears a long garland decorated with small human heads at the bottom across his thighs. A five-headed snake hood is spread behind his crown and coils of the snake project above each of his shoulders.
Durga sits with her legs in a half lotus position, crossed in front of her, but not interlaced. She has a narrow waist and rounded pointy breasts with broad shoulders. Her front two hands hold a rosary (also in a reassuring gesture) and a pot. Her other hands fan out around her. Reading clockwise, she carries a wide assortment of weapons, an arrow, sword, feather, club, discus, trident and [?] on her right and conch, bell, noose, trident, club?, shield, bow and a kapala (skull cup). She has large open eyes and a full mouth and nose. She wears jewelry including necklaces and shoulder loops, armlets, bracelets and large floral earrings. Her crown rest atop her head, but there are wing-like elements that fan out behind her ears. She sits on a squared base with stylized lotus petals over simpler moldings.