- Museum number
Granite figure of the humped bull mount of Śiva, Nandi, garlanded and decorated with bells.
- Production date
- 16thC (Vijayanagara period)
Height: 86 centimetres
Weight: 613 kilograms
Width: 96 centimetres
Depth: 61 centimetres
- Curator's comments
The museum acquired two sculptures from Alfred Bullard [q.v.] in 1923: 1923,0606.1, 2. According to the Acquisition Notes, both sculptures were from Stowe House, Buckinghamshire. The house, its contents and the estate were sold at auction in 1921. The catalogue of this sale includes two lots that may refer to these two sculptures:
p.229, Orangery, Eighteenth Day's Sale
Lot 3831 An antique carved granite Indian bull on brick and plaster base
Lot 3832 A ditto idol on carved stone base
The white, humped bull Nandi ('rejoicing') symbolizes strength, virility and fertility as well as religious and moral duties. His crouching image, often housed in a small pavilion, is at the entrance of every Shiva temple.
In the southern tradition he is usually shown seated with his legs tucked beneath him. Also, the body - as here - is often foreshortened in comparison with the head and front parts.
- On display (G29b/od)
- Exhibition history
'Deities and Devotion: the arts of Hinduism'. Room 5. BM. 1992/93.
2010 Aug 4 – Nov 15, China, Shanghai Museum, ‘India: The Art of the Temple’
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Transferred long ago from the Dept of Ethnography (date unknown), these pieces are said in the Ethno registers to have come from Stowe House in Bucks. and possibly acquired by the vendor (A Bullard) at the clearance sale there in 1921. This great country mansion, now a famous public school, was owned in the 19th century by the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, Governor of the Madras Presidency and responsible for ordering the 'clearance' of the stupa site at Amaravati. These Indian sculptures may have come to Stowe during his time in India and, as rough hewn stone sculptures, were possibly garden ornaments in the elaborate plantations at Stowe.
The sale catalogue of the Stowe sale in 1921 ought to be checked for any further data and the National Trust spoken to see if it has any records of these pieces in connection with the garden restoration that it is doing at Stowe.
- Registration number