A Decorative Pair of Indian 19thC Softwood Female Figurines


Origin: Indian
Period: Mid/Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Property of a London collector, acquired early 1960`s
Date: c.1860 - 1880
Height: 8.25 inches
Width: 2 inches
Depth: 5 inches
Weight: 745 grams

The pair of softwood figurines each representing a female in a tight-fitting robe, with a broad sash tied at the waist; the arms drawn back and looped through a scrolled plate; the lower body developing into a feathered wing; mounted on a triangular-section base surviving from the third quarter of the nineteenth century.

Condition would be described as good with slight loss to hair on one figure, the edges of each figurine nicely smoothed, the wholes with a good even patination. There are no cracks or splits.

Part of the fascinating mesh of colonial era India these figurines are similar to that of ships figureheads were perhaps once part of a Mandapa, a pillared outdoor hall or pavilion for public rituals, or maybe as part of the external walls of a temple which was segmented by pilasters and carried niches housing sculpture.

These appealing figureheads could be described as interior designers pieces, decorative pleasures that add immediate Eastern spice and charm to western interiors.