- Museum number
A model temple chariot or ratha. It is made of wood (painted and unpainted), textile and metal. It is adorned with Viaisnava figures painted on flat panels and model attendant figures carved in the round (there is no utsavamurti, the processional bronze image that in a real chariot would be placed on the central platform; only a bolster, covered in white silk indicates where the image would have been located). The chariot is drawn by horses and attended by a small Garuda figure. The substructure is of wood and the carved wooden panels of the original are replicated here, but in miniature. The upper part is comprised of a high fringed canopy made of red felt decorated with triangular silk pennants and surmounted by a brass finial. On the passenger platform is a long bolster-like cushion in white silk.
- Production date
- 1790 (circa)
Height: 220 centimetres
Width: 90 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- See AOA Christy Correspondence - undated, unsigned, contemporary(?) description of the model ('machine') (File M) as follows:
"The description of the Machine is as follows.
It is erected on 3 unequal square bases which are laid one over the other and kept together with a strong wooden peg in the middle or center: these are rolled on four or six wheels and in the front the place of the Elephant who usually precedes the coach, there are two elegantly painted Horses and a small figure of a Driver with chains instead of reins.
On the floor of the upper Base is placed a sort of Bed or Sopha under a fan and with a kind of pillow at the back are placed the principal Idols formed of an elegant mixed metal apparently of brass, copper silver and [?tutenag]. the more sacred place is enclosed with four upright half squares of painted tin and [?headed] with some wooden ornaments, having some mythological Deities painted on them. At some distance are 16 or 20 upright batons in lieu of painted pillars which serve to support two treilisses of square wood over which is thrown a canopy of cloth & leather to give the idea of a roof which is adorned at intervals with small banners or flags nearly forty in number. The whole is kept together by a [?massy] piece of brass of an irregular form to represent a Dome or Cupola."
The description is annotated in pencil "?refers to the model of Car presd. by Ch. Marsh May 11 1793".
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017-2018 2 Nov-8 Apr, BM Gallery 35, Living with gods
Deities and devotion; the arts of Hinduism. Room 5. 1993/4
Previous to the above, displayed on the North Staircase
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- A Catalogue of Indian Idols &c Collected by Mr Simpson (London, 1792) lot 43.
- Registration number